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On The Blogs: Learning about Bike Boxes

Bike Boxes at Harbord and St. GeorgeDuncan’s City Ride explores the new bike boxes at Harbord and St. George, and how a lot of education is needed for both drivers AND cyclists:

Considering how many cars I see stopped in the middle of crosswalks, there’s obviously going to be a few growing pains with these new bike boxes in Toronto.

What are bike boxes and what do they do? Bike Boxes allow cyclists to move to the front of the line at red lights and position themselves for faster/safer left turns.

Read the full post on Duncan’s City Ride

  • I really don’t understand why the bike boxes on Harbord extend across both lanes of traffic. The ones that I’ve seen in other cities are only in the right hand lane, and they help prevent the right hook.

    Also, in terms of painting boxes a solid colour, this has been problematic since the paint can either wear out pretty quickly, or it can make the pavement slick when wet. I think that Toronto tried to paint the Strachan bike lane a solid colour last year but it didn’t work out. Anyone remember this?

  • You are remembering correctly, Jun, but it was fall 2007. They were supposed to re-try it in 2008 with a different paint formula, but as far as I know this wasn’t done.

    http://bikingtoronto.com/torontos-first-coloured-bike-lane/

  • duncan

    The reason these extend across all lanes is to help aid cyclists making left turns. Many drivers try to squeeze up beside cyclists waiting for left turns (and vice versa is also true, one no more than the other). So this eliminates (or should) all of the cramming. I commented on the original blog post with some videos better explaining bike boxes, pasted below:

    Looking at other cities with bike boxes, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle, the use of both bright paint and public education campaigns go hand in hand. Here’s a video of the Portland bike boxes http://www.streetfilms.org/portland-green-bike-box/ Here’s a video of the San Francisco bike box (paired with a left side bike lane) http://www.streetfilms.org/the-wiggles-green-bike-box-left-turn-lane-combo/ And here’s the Seattle Department of Transportation explaining their bike boxes http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikeboxes.htm

  • Larry

    Maybe it can be coloured with some kind of textured paint (less slippery)? Or new bike lanes could use different coloured paving slabs?