SDOT paints bike trapezoids on Madison

On the heels of the bike box on Pine at 12th comes a pair of green boxes on Madison headed in each direction at 12th. Maybe box is the wrong word … they’re definitely more like trapezoids.

Unlike on Pine, Madison does not have bike lanes. So really, these “bike boxes” really just function like good old advanced stop lines filled-in with green and some bikes. But that’s great. Bikes on Madison will be more visible, riders in the bike lanes on 12th will be safe from right-turning vehicles from Madison to 12th.

The boxes will also be useful to cyclists continuing on Union, which has bike lanes. This intersection is large and slightly unusual (like many of Madison’s intersections), so anything that helps improve visibility for bikes (and pedestrians) will be a great improvement.

While on the topic of bike boxes, much airtime (particularly on shock jock talk radio) has been spent spewing all kinds of hatred at these things lately. But every biker I have talked to who has used them LOVES them. And I’m sure as soon as a driver realizes that this just means they have to stop a few feet further from the crosswalk and that they can’t go right on red (like so many other intersections in this city), they will cease being angry about them. Then the shock jocks will find another reason to rant about bikes and needing bike registration, blah, blah, blah.

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5 Responses to SDOT paints bike trapezoids on Madison

  1. Mike says:

    From my observations, the main purpose of these boxes are to provide a place for bicyclists to continue along the Union St bike lanes (which were recently striped). Motorized traffic on Union St must turn at either 13th St (if coming from the east) or at 11th St (?) (if coming from the west) and then turn back on to Union St. For bicyclists, they can continue about a block further and then utilize the sidewalk and bike boxes. One item which hasn’t been added yet are the bike “dots” that will show a bicyclist to use the sidewalk. Those are marked out the field but haven’t been added yet.

    On a side note, for the bike box at Pine and 12th, I haven’t actually seen a “No Right Turn on Red” sign yet.

  2. Jay says:

    @Mike: I live on the corner of 12th and Pine, and there is a “No Right Turn on Red (Except Bicycles)” sign on the Southeast side of the intersection. It’s a little difficult to see, and is up and behind the actual street sign when heading east on Pine. Maybe SDOT will lower it and make it more visible?

  3. Joseph Singer says:

    There has been all this good talk about the bike boxes. I’m concerned about motorists who don’t seem to give a flip about crosswalks and think it’s perfectly OK to obstruct crosswalks. Why more intersections don’t have stop lines is something I’ve often wondered about. I believe technically if you’re stopped on a crosswalk you’ve gone through an intersection and can be liable for a $104 fine (or maybe it’s $124.)

  4. Mike says:

    @Jay: Thanks for the info…I passed by it this morning and saw the sign. I guess I should check things at least one day before I post! :)

  5. Pingback: N 34th Street project demonstrates the bike box’s true potential | Seattle Bike Blog

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