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

Posted by 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).

This time, Eckerson turns his lens to our new bike boxes. The video is a sequel (of sorts) to his first video on New York City’s bike boxes, in which he popularized the “Bike box!” catchphrase and went toe-to-toe with them — literally boxing the boxes.

Check out the video below (warning: you may have “bike box!” in your head the rest of the day):

See more of Eckerson’s videos here.

[Note: Stay tuned for the much-anticipated web debut of Dan Kaufman’s bike box video that premiered at the Bike Porn film festival.]

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  • a.O June 27, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Loved the video. But it could have used a Clarence the Sasquatch cameo.

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  • KT June 27, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Wow, you even get a bit oh philosophy with your bike box lesson! 🙂

    Bike box!

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  • Sasquatch....err I mean...Clarence June 27, 2008 at 9:06 am

    You know I am partial to my work, but Dan you gotta get yours and Meghan\’s bike box video up!! That is really good stuff!!!

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  • Paul Tay June 27, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Oh, GOOD grief. BIKE BOXES!!!!

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  • Bill June 27, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Is the plural Bike Boxes, or Bike Boxers?????


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  • Clarence June 27, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Or boxing bike boxers?

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  • BURR June 27, 2008 at 11:25 am

    You can make all the films you want, but the boxes are still nothing but PR spin that doesn\’t make cyclists any safer from right hooks.

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  • name witheld June 27, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I found the bike box video boring and trite, to be honest.

    i also think \”Bike Boxes\” are a waste of green paint.

    We need parallel, totally separated travel paths. . . anything less is unjustifiable

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  • Stripes June 27, 2008 at 11:35 am

    So many pretty bicycles! So many pretty bicycle riders! So many pretty bike boxes! So many lovely drivers slowing down and looking more before turning right! Yay!

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  • Clarence June 27, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Actually to the naysayers: while we were filming we had two people tell us that they have seen drivers behaving much better at the intersections where Bike Boxes were. One we tried to get on camera, but he was a mall security person who declined, but he said they were a great idea because before they went in he saw a few close calls.

    Of course those are only anecdotal and two people. Maybe PDOT will have better info somewhere down the line.

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  • N June 27, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I got right hooked at the bike box on Broadway and Taylor. Didn\’t seem to help me.

    I hear complaints from motorists all the time that they hate the boxes, and that it\’s ridiculous that cyclists get to move in front of them at lights. From my experiences, they seem to be more aggressive at trying to overtake me, or turn in front of me at the bike boxes. I feel like more of a target in the green paint.

    How about a car free downtown..

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  • Anonymous June 27, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Just last night I was riding downhill towards the 405 entrance on Everett in NW. I foolishly assumed that traffic was continuing forward, as no right turn signals were activated, but ended up screaming and skidding to a stop narrowly avoiding impact with a right-turning minivan. My breaks stopped my wheels, but my wheels continued gliding over the smooth green surface. Would the engineers be open to the possibility of adding a little tooth to the paint, like sand or something? It would still be smooth, but wouldn\’t hinder stopping in potentially dangerous situations- just the kind of situations that necessitated the boxes to begin with.

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  • BURR June 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    separated on-street paths in portland are a pipe dream, nothing more. There\’s not enough right-of-way width for all the road users on narrow inner city streets as it is, and the city keeps making the streets narrower with dumb ideas like curb extensions. I\’d be much happier with a more aggressive motorist re-education campaign and sharrows to indicate to motorists that cyclists are allowed to take a full lane.

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  • Stripes June 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Unfortunately, there\’s not a lot engineering can do about people who are just generally total assholes behind the wheel irregardless of everything they encounter, sorry.

    That\’s an educational, and anger-management issue.

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  • Kphomma June 28, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Bike box.

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  • Scott Mizée June 28, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    B I K E B O X !

    bike box

    bIkE bOx

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  • Coffee Nate June 29, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Stripes, I think you meant regardless, there\’s no such word as \’irregardless\’. 😉

    Bike Boxes are a good concept (they could add some sort of traction substance to the paint.) but they are useless unless the use of them is effectively enforced. Here\’s a thought, maybe Portland\’s finest should be watching bike boxes and writing tickets to out of line drivers, instead of tackling and \’tazering\’ bike riders for not stopping for dark figures who yell \”stop\” at them. If the motorists are getting tickets, I\’m sure they\’ll be more likely to get behind the box.

    One does have to wonder how much the bike box is really about safety, and how much it\’s just about pr for the city and appeasing the cycling community.

    Ideally, we need to kick the internal combustion powered vehicles right out of the city, and turn I-5 & I-84 & I 205 into wonderful new public transit railways; there\’s a pipe dream for ya!

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  • josh m June 30, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    So far I\’ve been right hooked about 6 times while in the green sections of the bike lane.
    I guess drivers see green and think it means go?

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  • Dan Kaufman July 1, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Clarence, thanks for making this video.

    My experience with bike boxes is that they have improved my interactions with right turning drivers, even while rolling.

    Now here is the video you asked for — these jokers are ready to get behind the bike box, too!

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  • name witheld July 1, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Now there\’s a video with some funk! It was entertaining and attention getting.

    BURR said: \”separated on-street paths in portland are a pipe dream, nothing more. There\’s not enough right-of-way width for all the road users on narrow inner city streets as it is . . .\”

    Both i and Portland\’s incoming mayor disagree with BURR. What i see happening is making side streets that parrelel major streets into bike boulevards by blocking through (car)traffic every 3 to 5 intersections with diverters such as the one at NE 16th & Tillamook. Easy and cheep to implement.

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