The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be implementing the first bike box at E Pine Street eastbound at 12th Avenue. Several other locations will be installed this fall including E Madison Street eastbound and westbound at 12th Avenue as part of the new E Union Street bike facilities and 7th Avenue S northbound at S Dearborn Street . The aim of these new measures is to encourage more cycling by creating a safer, more comfortable road environment.
What is a bike box? The bike box is an intersection safety design to prevent bicycle/car collisions. It is a painted green space on the road with a white bicycle symbol inside. In some locations it includes a green bicycle lane approaching the box. The box creates space between motor vehicles and the crosswalk that allows bicyclists to position themselves ahead of motor vehicle traffic at an intersection.
Why are bike boxes being installed? The main goal of the bike box is to improve safety by 1- increasing awareness and visibility of cyclists; 2- helping cyclists make safer intersection crossings - especially when drivers are turning right and bicyclists are going straight; 3 – encouraging cyclists to make more predictable approaches to and through an intersection; and 4 – providing space at the front of an intersection to help cyclists avoid breathing vehicle fumes.
What motorists should know
When the traffic signal is yellow or red, motorists mush stop behind the white stop line. Don’t stop on top of the green bike box. Keep it clear for cyclists to use. Typically at bike box locations , right turns on red will not be permitted .
When the light 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 green bike lane in the intersection.
What bicyclists should know
When the traffic signal is yellow or red, enter the bike box from the approaching green bike lane. Stop before the crosswalk.
When the light is green, proceed as normal. Be aware of right-turning motorists, especially while in the green bike lane in the intersection.
How to use bike boxes if you are …
The video was created for SDOT by Max Hohlbein and Revolution Studios as part of The Art Institute of Seattle’s Winter Quarter 2012 Video Production Class.
A BUFFERED BIKE LANE provides a striped cross-hatched area between bicyclists and motor vehicles. SDOT installed a buffered bike lane on a section of E Marginal Way S in 2009. A buffered bike lane is also being designed for 7th Avenue, with installation likely in 2010.
Shared Lane Pavement Marking a.k.a Sharrows
Shared lane pavement markings (or “sharrows”) are bicycle symbols carefully placed to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride on the road, avoid car doors and remind drivers to share the road with cyclists. Unlike bicycle lanes, sharrows do not designate a particular part of the street for the exclusive use of bicyclists. They are simply a marking to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride and help motorists expect to see and share the lane with bicyclists.
Motor vehicles should yield to bicyclists in green bike lanes. Green bike lanes highlight areas where bicycle and cars cross paths. Bicyclists should be alert and look for motor vehicles crossing green lanes.
LOOP DETECTORS tell the signal when a motor vehicle or bicycle is waiting for the light to turn green. Bike-specific pavement markings indicate where to position the front wheel in order to change the signal.