New “Bike Boxes” Send Cyclists to the Front of the Line

Ian Dutton of the Houston Street bike safety initiative snapped these photographs of yet another never-before-seen street design feature here in New York City. This is what’s called a "Bike Box" at the  intersection of W. 9th St. and Sixth Ave. Bike boxes allow cyclists approaching the intersection with a red signal to position themselves at the front of the line of vehicles. This makes bike travel faster and the right turn onto northbound Sixth Avenue safer.

bike_box5.jpg

New bike boxes are also being striped in on Carlton Avenue at Bergen Street and on DeKalb and Flushing Avenues in Brooklyn. Technically, these aren’t New York City’s first-ever bike boxes. There have been previous attempts to install them in various spots but the design of these new ones seem to be much bigger, clearer, cleaner and closer to what you see in bike-friendly cities elsewhere.

One city that appreciates its bike boxes is London. Traveling on a German Marshall Fellowship in March I met with John Dinunzio, a Project Coordinator with the London Cycle Network (or LCN+), working to build out that city’s bike infrastructure. John and his team are big proponents of bike boxes. I saw a lot of them throughout London. London motorists mostly seem to respect the bike boxes. Let’s see if New York City drivers do the same.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

American Traffic Engineering Establishment Finally Approves Bike Boxes

|
The wheels of change grind slowly at the institutions that guide the American traffic engineering establishment, but they are moving forward. This week, U.S. DOT issued interim approval for bike boxes [PDF], a treatment that positions cyclists ahead of cars at intersections. Dozens of American cities currently use bike boxes — some for the better part of the past decade […]

NYC Gets Its First-Ever Physically-Separated Bike Path

|
The Department of Transportation revealed plans for New York City’s first-ever physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting last night. The new bike path will run southbound on Ninth Avenue from W. 23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan. Unlike the typical Class II on-street bike lane in which […]

Plan for Grand Street Cycle Track Features New Design Treatment

|
DOT has unveiled plans for a Grand Street cycle track [PDF] that bear the fingerprints of Danish planner Jan Gehl. It would be Manhattan’s first cross-town protected bike path. Grand Street is narrower than Ninth Avenue, where the existing protected path runs. Whereas the Ninth Avenue cycle track uses signal timing to prevent conflicts between […]