People on bikes deserve to be put in boxes
The bike box
Another north American city is moving forward with bike boxes. Edmonton–yes up there, where it is cold, it snows, and people bike with ice skates on–is joining cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Madison in the intersection installation safety design.
The bike box works by increasing visibility of and for people on bicycles and by allowing them to clear the intersection more quickly, thus reducing congestion for everyone.
Here are two instructional videos.
Without the Legos, but with some big guy screaming “bike box”.
In Traverse City, Front St. downtown could be improved with a bike box or two, but there are other quieter areas that could also use one. The obvious location I notice almost every week is at the main entrance to the college. Bike boxes on Fair St. would serve people approaching on the street as well as people utilizing the Civic Center trail system. Right now, coming out of the Civic Center people on wheels get dumped into an odd situation. A bike box would provide design and the space for them to join the street and cross E. Front with the light and other traffic.
Currently there is a committee working on a non-motorized plan for the City (RE). It is unclear how leading edge the City is prepared to go, but a bike box is becoming pretty normal for Cities that have high numbers of people who are on bikes and who want to be on bikes.
EMAILS: Tim Werner firstname.lastname@example.org, Russ Soyring email@example.com
You can explore other recommended treatments in the online NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. This is thee resource for safe, comfortable, and inviting bike networks in the United States. Many Cities are even adopting it as policy. The new version is updated with a section devoted to bicycle boulevards.
Don’t you deserve to be put in a box?
UPDATE: Traverse City did have a bike box for an hour back in 2010. It was located at N. Barlow and 8th St. A grumpy neighbor washed it off.