Special Coverage of Bike Boxes
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Bike boxes are a new roadway engineering treatment being used by the City of Portland Office of Transportation to improve bike safety at intersections. They are intended to improve awareness and visibility of cyclists and to help prevent dangerous “right-hook” collisions.

For more information, read the stories below and check out these links for more information:

Click headlines below for full stories.

Woman injured in right hook at NE Couch and Grand

Posted on September 15th, 2010 at 9:25 am.

Scene of right hook NE Couch and Grand-1
Scene of a right hook at NE Couch
and Grand this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The morning after PBOT called it their #1 priority location to receive a bike box, a woman on a bike was hit at NE Couch and Grand. Based on interviews with the victim’s friend and the driver of the truck, the crash was a classic right hook. According to her friend who was at the scene, Jill Michaelree sustained a broken foot and/or shin and will undergo surgery.


City unveils list of 11 new bike box locations

Posted on September 14th, 2010 at 6:40 pm.

PBOT’s plans for new bike box planned for SE 7th at Hawthorne
(Photos © J. Maus)


PSU evaluation finds that bike boxes work

Posted on September 14th, 2010 at 2:51 pm.

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A year-long evaluation by researchers at Portland State University’s Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation has found that Portland’s bike boxes improve the safety of roads users on a number of levels. The research — funded through the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium — complements another study from the University of Texas published last month that also found bike boxes to have a positive impact on traffic safety. City of Portland Bureau of Transportation officials say these studies confirm their own observations about the bike boxes and they are in the process of identifying new locations to add more of them.


PBOT confirms last year’s record low traffic crash, fatality numbers

Posted on April 2nd, 2009 at 12:17 pm.

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Mayor Adams credits bike boxes
as one reason for record numbers
(Photo © J. Maus)

Back in January, we reported that Portland had potentially had a record low number of traffic fatalities in 2008.

PBOT has now made it official — we have never had fewer traffic fatalities in any year since they began keeping track in 1925.

In 2008, 20 people died in traffic crashes. Fifteen were in cars and five were on foot. For the fifth time in the past ten years, there were no bicycle-related fatalities.


With bike boxes, the color is key

Posted on November 13th, 2008 at 4:39 pm.

Portland has been at the cutting edge of traffic design for many years. In America, with our stringent, car-centric traffic design guidelines, that means having engineers who are not afraid to push the boundaries of the status quo.

The most recent example of this are Portland’s colored bike boxes. We weren’t the first city to do them, but we were the first to launch several of them at once on busy intersections in the urban core.

Before laying them down, PDOT sent an official “Request to Experiment” to the Federal Highway Administration. It’s not a required step, but an official nod from the FHWA would help PDOT breathe a little easier, and more importantly, would open the door to make colored bike boxes a standard treatment that could then be adopted more easily in other cities.


First look: New green bike lanes in Rose Quarter Transit Center

Posted on October 15th, 2008 at 10:36 am.

In 1993 an upstart bike advocacy group called the Bicycle Transportation Alliance — headed by Rex Burkholder (now a Metro councilor) — filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland because of a lack of bicycle facilities around the Rose Garden Arena.

This morning, 15 years after that legal battle (which ended after the BTA backed off two years later, their point being made), PDOT crews (with the blessing of TriMet) began the striping and installation of new bike lanes through the Rose Quarter Transit Center — making passage through the area for bicycles safer, more efficient, and legal.

Looking south from NE Holladay. N. Interstate Ave is in the background.
(Photos J. Maus)


FHWA wants Portland to test un-colored bike boxes

Posted on July 28th, 2008 at 3:20 pm.

The old-school bike box at SE 39th and Clinton.
The colored version at SE Hawthorne and 7th.


A bittersweet bike box

Posted on July 3rd, 2008 at 10:16 am.

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The new bike box at W. Burnside and 14th.
Video below
(Photos © J. Maus)

On Monday, the city of Portland installed a bike box in the SE corner of W. Burnside and 14th streets in downtown Portland — the same intersection where Tracey Sparling was killed nine months ago.

This is the eighth bike box the City has installed in the past four months since the first one went in at SE Hawthorne and 7th.


Video: Another reason to “Get behind the bike box”

Posted on July 1st, 2008 at 3:17 pm.

The short video below premiered at Bike Porn 2. It contains some dirty language but it’s definitely worth watching for what I think is one of the best lines ever spoken in the growing bike box film genre…

“Bike box!”; Streetfilms points lens on Portland’s green space

Posted on June 27th, 2008 at 8:28 am.

Bike box. Get it?
(Photo: Movie still)
(Watch video below.)

Clarence Eckerson Jr., that intrepid auteur with New York City-based Streetfilms, just posted another one of the films he made during his recent visit to Portland.

Eckerson is the man behind the Sunday Parkways video I posted Tuesday (that film has already been viewed nearly 4,000 times).