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Bicycling

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

11:46 AM EDT on June 19, 2007

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.

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