Right on schedule, the city is adding the first bike box in Seattle’s history to the intersection of 12th Ave and Pine. The work will begin sometime after 7 PM Tuesday and should be completed with a few hours work. The box is the first of two planned for 12th Ave — the next will be added at the intersection with Madison later this fall.
More details on the new addition to the city streets in this media release from SDOT including the rules for how cars and bikes should use the new markings. Cyclists, any advice for drivers when they encounter this new element of the roadway?
SDOT Installs City’s First Bike Box
New bike facility increases visibility and awareness; makes road safer for cyclists and drivers
SEATTLE – To create a safer roadway system and help encourage more bicycling citywide, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is today installing the city’s first bike box at E Pine Street eastbound at 12th Avenue. This fall SDOT will also emplace these new bike facilities at E Madison Street eastbound and westbound at 12th Avenue, and Seventh Avenue S northbound at S Dearborn Street.
A green box with a white bicycle symbol inside, a bike box is a nationally used intersection safety feature that prevents bicycle/car collisions by placing cyclists at the front of the vehicle queue. The boxes improve safety for all roadway users by increasing awareness and visibility of cyclists; helping cyclists make safer intersection crossings, especially when drivers are turning right and bicyclists are going straight; and encouraging cyclists to make more predictable approaches to and through an intersection.
When the traffic signal is yellow or red, motorists must stop behind the white line at the rear of the bike box and cyclists should enter the box itself. 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 of the intersection. New signage will help motorists and cyclists understand the new roadway feature. No right turns on red are allowed at these intersections.
SDOT is installing bike boxes this year as part of its Bicycle Master Plan implementation. These safety features are used in a number of other US cities to include Portland, New York City, Baltimore and Minneapolis.