Bike Boxes Open in Long Beach
|Courtesy of City of Long Beach|
|Bicyclists feel boxed in--and safer--at this Long Beach intersection.|
What's a bike box?
It's a section of street specially painted green with white-stripe boundaries and a white bicycle symbol inside. Bicycle lanes approach the boxes aimed at marking where bicyclists should wait for traffic lights to change.
Already found in bike-friendly towns like Portland, Oregon, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, bike boxes are intended to increase cyclist safety and visibility at intersections, and help avoid crashes between right-turning vehicles and cyclists going straight.
According to a City of Long Beach press release:
What should motorists know? When the traffic signal is red, motorists must stop behind the green bike box. Do not stop on top of or in the bike box. Keep it clear for cyclists to use, just as you would a crosswalk for pedestrians. When the signal turns green, motorists and cyclists may move through the intersection as usual, with cyclists going first. Motorists turning right on green should signal and watch for cyclists to the right, especially in the bike lane.
What should cyclists know? When the traffic signal is red, cyclists enter the green bike box from the approaching bike lane. Cyclists stop before the crosswalk. When the signal turns green, cyclists proceed as normal. Cyclists should be aware of right-turning motorists, especially in the intersection.
So, why bike boxes? It's all about visibility and awareness. At a red light, cyclists are more visible to motorists by being in front of them. At a green light, it reminds motorists and cyclists to watch for each other.
For more information and to access a fact sheet on bicycle boxes, please visit BikeLongBeach.org.