What are Bike Boxes?

The 2010 Toronto Cycling Map includes a brief description of bike boxes, a piece of infrastructure soon to be seen on Toronto streets.

Bike boxes will soon be installed at several intersections on Harbord and College. They allow cyclists to move to the head of waiting traffic, giving them priority for making left turns. Intersections with bike boxes will also restrict right turns on red lights (a safety feature I feel ALL Toronto/Ontario intersections should have) for both drivers and cyclists.

In anticipation of the soon to be installed bike boxes, the City of Toronto recently updated their cycling web site with a short postcard explaining bike boxes. I’ve include the postcard content below and you can also download the info here (PDF): Introducing Bike Boxes

Images via City of Toronto


  1. Dave Krentz says:

    I like the thinking behind bike boxes. It’s gingto take a while for bikes and motorists to get the hang of it, but making motorists more aware of us can’t be a bad thing.

    One thing worries me. Bikes, like cars, won’t be able to go right on a red, but we’re going to be really tempted! Thing is, if we want bikes to be taken seriously we’ll have to respect the rules. This from a guy who feels the pain of stopping at stop signs, but does it anyways … usually … :)

  2. jamesschwartz says:

    Bikes should be exempted from the “no right turn on red” rule – unless the right turn is prevented for visibility reasons that would put the cyclist at risk. If right turns are disallowed simply to allow for the installation of a bike box, then bikes should be exempted. Simple as that.

    If they aren’t exempted, most cyclists won’t obey it and will turn right on a red if it’s safe to do so.

    The law of common sense sometimes takes precedence over real laws ;)

  3. Agreed, James. It seems strange that cyclists can’t turn right on a red in a piece of infrastructure designed to increase their safety at intersections.

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