Portland rolls out plans for ‘bike boxes’

With the rash of car/bike collisions in Portland this past year bicyclists have made a loud and unified call for action.
The city of Portland seems to be listening. And responding.

It looks like we will be getting 14 bike boxes at intersections this spring.
This essentially gives riders a safe refuge while stopped at intersections, making them a little more visible, and safe when traffic starts up again.
One of the biggest dangers i face while riding in traffic is when traffic is starting up from a red light. As a rider it is critical that you know which cars are turning (not just the ones who have bothered to turn on their blinker), and which ones are going straight. You must then find a save haven somwhere along side them, where you can start up and continue through the intersection without one of those drivers turning right, and crossing over the path that is currently occupied by me and my bike.

A 2-foot-deep stripe at the back of the box will show cars where to stop. Pavement in the boxes and bike lanes leading up to the intersection will be colored green or blue to mark the areas where bikes and cars might conflict.

I know that these boxes will cause frustrations for drivers, since cars will not be allowed to turn right during the red lights at those intersections. Antd that they are supposed to stop further back in from the intersection. And I know that many of them just won’t do it. It’s unfortunate that we have to raise driver frustration in order to increase rider safety, especially since it is that very frustration that creates much of the danger for cyclists. But these 14 intersections are mostly busy, central-city intersections with many bikers and pedestrians, so it may work out fine.

Plus, if drivers knw the laws, this would not be so frustrating, since letting bicyclists leave intersections ahead of cars is not a new law.

We are anxious to see how they affect traffic and the bike culture in Portland.

For more, see: After six deaths, Portland rolls out plans for ‘bike boxes’ – OregonLive.com

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