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Old 01-05-08, 12:53 PM   #1
aRoudy1
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Bike boxes

Just saw a news article on the TV about the use of 'Bike Boxes' on streets in Portland OR. Found a newspaper article here: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/orego...540.xml&coll=7
Wondering if anyone has seen these anywhere else and what is your opinion of them?
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Old 01-05-08, 12:57 PM   #2
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I am neutral on the bike boxes. However, I strongly oppose some of Portland's special bicycle accommodations, particularly those which either force or compel cyclists to position themselves to the right of right-turning motorists. Bicyclists can protect themselves somewhat from right-hook scenarios by positioning themselves vehicularly and destination-appropriately, but there is always some jerk who insists on trying to right-hook illegally from the wrong lane -- these scofflaws are as big a menace as inattentive or distracted motorists.
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Old 01-05-08, 07:23 PM   #3
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It would have likely prevented the Tracey Sparling tragedy if a bike box were installed at that intersection, but I doubt that particular intersection will be one of the 14 intersections "improved" with bike boxes.

While it would have protected Tracey by allowing her to stop in a position the truck driver could have seen her, it is not a perfect solution to the right hook hazard in Portland. Since cyclists are both compelled to use bike lanes when present, and motor vehicles are required to yield to all bicycle traffic inside bike lanes, bike boxes provide no protection to cyclists when they arrive at an intersection or driveway at the same time as a motor vehicle.

The death of Brett Jarolimek, the injuries sustained by his riding partner in the same incident and those of Siobhan Doyle a few weeks later at the same intersection would not have been mitigated with bike boxes. That particular intersection has since been fixed by doing what must be done at all intersections with bike lanes: Right turns are prohibited.

On a separate note, doesn't $4,500 per truck for clearance bars seem a little steep?

A discussion about the peculiar situation in Portland Oregon can be found here:
Prohibit right turns across bike lanes?

A collection of articles about Miss Sparling can be found here:

http://bikeportland.org/cats/news/fatalityonburnside/
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Old 01-05-08, 09:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal
It would have likely prevented the Tracey Sparling tragedy if a bike box were installed at that intersection, but I doubt that particular intersection will be one of the 14 intersections "improved" with bike boxes.

That intersection, 14th and W. Burnside, is one slated for a bike box.

From an article in THE OREGONIAN, January 4th:

"Traffic engineers have been planning to put the colorful boxes at 14 intersections after logging six fatal bike accidents last year, including the deaths of cyclists Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek within two weeks in October."

Article

Just passing along some info, don't throw stuff at me.
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Old 01-05-08, 10:05 PM   #5
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1,140 results from searching "bike boxes" on bikeportland.org

bike box search
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Old 01-06-08, 08:13 AM   #6
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1,140 results from searching "bike boxes" on bikeportland.org
From the PDF file linked on the article, there will in fact be bike boxes at the "Sparling" intersection. The confusion stems from the awkwardly phrased sentence in the article. They really ought to hire professional writers at the newspaper!

Curiously, it also lists the Greeley-Interstate intersection. Presently it is closed to right turns. From photos last year, that intersection has no signal, so apparently they will install one.
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Old 01-06-08, 02:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
Curiously, it also lists the Greeley-Interstate intersection. Presently it is closed to right turns. From photos last year, that intersection has no signal, so apparently they will install one.
It is my understanding as well, that they intend to install a traffic signal, a blue bike box and paint the bike lane blue at the Greeley-Interstate intersection. During a green traffic signal, I wonder how they think that any of these things will prevent accidents similar to those that caused the deaths of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek.
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Old 01-06-08, 03:17 PM   #8
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.............................
Curiously, it also lists the Greeley-Interstate intersection. Presently it is closed to right turns. From photos last year, that intersection has no signal, so apparently they will install one.
No need to install a signal. There have been traffic signals at that intersection since I moved to Portland in 1977. Here is how it looks today.

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Old 01-06-08, 04:30 PM   #9
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Seems to me, screw the must use ordinance, take the lane at intersections. Or get killed. Your choice.
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Old 01-06-08, 07:11 PM   #10
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Seems to me, screw the must use ordinance, take the lane at intersections. Or get killed. Your choice.
The ordinance doesn't apply to intersections where cars can turn across the bike lane. It also has the standard exclusions for unsafe or unusable bike lane, etc.
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Old 01-06-08, 09:37 PM   #11
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They have boxes in UK for bikes to stop at lights ahead of cars. These are much used by motorbikes, who lane-split to get to the front of the queue, where the then move into the motor traffic lane. It works well for them, but the car drivers are used to motor bikes lane-splitting.
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Old 01-06-08, 09:40 PM   #12
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motorists hook bicyclists, bike lanes don't hook bicyclists.

since bicyclists, even die hard vehicular bicyclists, can and do ride to the right on roads with minor intersections, parking, curb cuts, etc, into which a motorists can turn right into yet it is vehicular to ride there.

what's unvehicular is the action of the motorist hooking the bicyclist.
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Old 01-06-08, 09:42 PM   #13
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bike boxes are a great idea at certain signalled intersections.

I ride into a 'bike box' position at several of the intersections on my commute.

how do you get more riders accustomed to using the 'bike box' positioning? ADD BIKE BOXES.
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Old 01-06-08, 11:07 PM   #14
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still, the bike boxes are associated with far-right bike lanes in most of the designs; I agree with JohnE in post #2 - the bike lanes in a number of the Portland cases, particularly NW Everett and 16th, and perhaps other locations as well, need better destination positioning to the left of a RTOL lane.

sharrows might work better than a bike lane in the downstream direction from a bike box, as well. Why put a bike box in in the first place if you expect the cyclists to move far right as soon as they leave the box?
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Old 01-06-08, 11:26 PM   #15
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bike lane or not, I generally want to be in the front of the line, in front of the cars, middle of the first thru lane at intersections.

bike boxes allow the bicyclist to enter intersections first and control the intersection. regardless of how it looks past the intersection.

but yeah, they might even be more effective with sharrows. boy, the motorists would HATE that!
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Old 01-06-08, 11:30 PM   #16
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could a bike box (with OR without a bike lane leading to/fro) be used by a vehicular cyclist?....remember, splitting lanes is vehicular........
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