A new bicycling idea has been implemented in Fort Collins – the bike box. What is a bike box, you ask? It is a safety design for bikers at intersections to prevent car/bicycle collisions. The bike box is especially helpful in the scary “right hook” situation – drivers who are turning right and bikers who are going straight. The bike box prevents the right hook from occurring by allowing bikers to pull in front of waiting car traffic.
What does a bike box look like? It is green box with a white bicycle symbol inside and has approaching green bike lanes that direct to the bike box.
Where did the bike box idea come from? Why, Portland of course! Portland’s first bike box was put into action in March of 2008. Since then, 15 bike boxes have been strategically placed throughout the city with 10 more proposed bike box intersections in the works.
Portland State University studied the effectiveness of bike boxes in Portland, resulting in 80% of motorists complying with bike box rules. “If nothing else, I think the survey shows an acceptance of bike boxes among motorists,” said Jennifer Dill, co-author of the study and director of the PSU center.
Portland is an innovator in the biking community, and I, for one, am happy with the implementation of the bike box in Fort Collins.
The bike box in Fort Collins is located at the corner of Shields and Plum, a very busy intersection for Colorado State University students heading eastbound to campus.
I used to take this route to work but changed my course due to the high volume of cars and bikers. Now I feel more comfortable riding down Plum to hop onto Shields or get to campus.
David Kemp, City of Fort Collins Bike Coordinator, calls this bike box a “demonstration project” to see how bike boxes fare in helping eliminate the right hook. Bike boxes are great safety tools for Fort Collins, and I cannot wait to see more around town.
With our mission of fewer cars and more bikes on the road, we appreciate any infrastructure changes that make biking safer or more feasible. Take a trip down Plum and see what you think of the bike box. If you like them or if you don’t, let the City of Fort Collins know. Feedback will help make our town better! http://www.fcgov.com/