Splendid Cycles Big Sale

Photo of the Week: Bike boxes? Who needs ’em!

Posted by on December 16th, 2011 at 9:27 am

On NE Lloyd, a man on a bike waits behind a car, despite the new colored bike box and bike lane.

I was over the Lloyd District the yesterday shooting photos of new pavement markings near the 12th Avenue overcrossing (story later today), when I happened upon an interesting scene: A man on a bike was queued up at a red light, waiting in line behind someone in a big SUV. What made the situation catch my eye is that the intersection had just been painted with a shiny new green bike lane and bike box.

To me, this image is symbolic of a big issue in American bike politics today. While planners and major advocacy groups push for separated facilities, there remains a portion of people who ride that don’t seem to need and/or want them.

While separation as a design and planning concept has been promoted in U.S. bike planning circles for many years, I can say (because I’ve heard it myself from local politicians) that one of the reasons we’re aren’t moving ahead with building more separated bikeways is because, “Even the bicyclists aren’t all for it!”

In other words; in a political atmosphere where bicycling isn’t a political slam dunk (at least according to some people), careful politicians need a big push from constituents to do innovative things. If they can’t count on full support from a specific interest group (which is how politicians see bike advocates), especially if that group has proven controversial in the media and among some of the public, they are much less likely to act.

Here’s another shot a bit closer up…

(By the way, it turns out I know the person in the photo. His name is Ed. I’ve emailed him to see if he’d like to explain his motives and I’ll update this story when I hear back. — JM)

UPDATE, 10:55am: I heard from Ed:

“I think the bike box is great if you’re heading East on Lloyd, makes it easier to merge over than before.

But when turning onto 12th, since it becomes two shared lanes on the bridge, I like to merge over earlier. Maybe just a habit from when the right turn lane was a “standard” lane and the through bike lane was to the left.”

UPDATE, 11:20 am: Back at my desk after leaving to cover an event. Just realized I should have pointed out that this bike box is sort of strange in that it occurs at a T intersection. In other words, there’s no right-turning traffic. I think PBOT must have installed it to give people on bikes a jump on other traffic in order to more safely take the lane over NE 12th.

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spencer
Guest
spencer

it feels like i’m cutting the line when i queue up in front of a line of cars, especially when i’ m going to slow their speed when the light turns green. when i do use the boxes, i line up in the green but at the right (where an old bike lane would be).

NF
Guest
NF

Those are some of the points of bike boxes!

-Queue jumping into the box, particularly when there are high quantities of bicyclists, prevents the odd mismatch of some bikes in line, some to the side, and general confusion. If the signal duration is short, it also allows gathered bicyclists to make it through the light.

-Bicycle priority at signals (aka ‘slowing the cars down’) .. This headstart could be achieved through expensive bicycle signals, but it works with a bike box too.

spencer
Guest
spencer

I know that’s the point, but it still smacks of special privileges for the “entitled rich cyclist” who gets to cut in line and have a delay free and relatively continuous commute.
I ride like Ed but with a caveat, if I will make the light cycle, I ride vehicular, If there’s a chance I’ll miss it, I’ll take the box.
The boxes are overkill. They encourage slower bikers (yes that’s right, different speeds of bikers are OK) to move to the left side of the street, so then when more bike traffic comes everyone is presented with merging fast bike traffic on the right, slow bikes on the left, and a line of car drivers with escalating tempers behind them as they miss the light signal. SE 26th & Powell is great example of this at the afternoon rush hour.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I’m a slow rider and I always stay to the right side in bike boxes because there’s usually somebody that wants to go fast that will come take the left spot in front of the cars…

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Better get as far forward and right as possibly so others can pull that off easily.

spencer
Guest
spencer

getting onto the hawthorne bridge is the best example. you are right to stay to the right, because the rush hour often has 10 people in that box. it makes more sense to have quicker people on the left so as to pass on the left. the same makes sense for car drivers. it makes no sense to bumble up to the front of the line ,move from the right side where the bike lane was to the center, stop, and then struggle to start riding again when the light turns green. it helps move everybody (bike riders and car drivers) if slower queues up to the right (even if the whole intersection is green).

naess
Guest
naess

perhaps his motives are nothing more then wanting to be a part of traffic.

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

I am more than sure this is the reason.

JAT in Seattle
Guest
JAT in Seattle

I think bike boxes are stupid. I think what Ed does is the sensible predictable (and dare I say vehicular) way to negotiate an intersection, but I have the luxury of not living in a mandatory bike lane state.

I totally understand the balancing act between wishing for bike facilities in a non-slam-dunk political climate and the desire to only use the facilities that suit your needs.

I hope Ed responds; I’d love to hear his rationale for rejecting the green paint.

canuck
Guest
canuck

Always felt they were only half the solution.

Without an advanced green for left turns, taking the lane to turn left actually worsens the congestion.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Wait, what? You’re not supposed to make a left from the right lane anyway, so how would a bike box have anything to do with that?

canuck
Guest
canuck

The bike boxes I’ve seen in the EU include the left turn green to reduce the congestion.

The bike box give allows cyclist to move to the front of the line. Without that left turn green the bike box creates more congestion. In many cases a car can make the left turn without waiting because they have better acceleration. Cyclist have to wait for a larger break in the traffic to make the same move.

Esther
Guest
Esther

For what it’s worth, I think it’s worth noting that I would classify Ed in the small “strong and fearless”/”vehicular” category of riders. He will habitually do things like ride his fully loaded CETMA cargo bike, completely loaded with airpots of coffee and food, over the West Hills to outside Forest Grove–and back–and go for 100-200k rides at the drop of a hat.
The majority of riders appreciate the separation and prominence of the bike box. Except for the Couch & MLK box, I think most people have an increased feeling of safety and clarity about who has the right of way at intersections like this.

John S
Guest
John S

I disagree. The bike boxes can be dangerous… I would classfiy Ed as smart and alive ! If a car all of sudden decides to turn right, he will be in front or back of said car not on the right side. If I have right turning car, I always try to pass to the left,and if have to proceed with extreme caution to the right. I would just rather not be the victim of a poor driver trying to time his or her turn through the rear view mirror. Fearless and strong is using the green box and hoping a driver sees you and judges speeds and spacing correctly.

Ed
Guest
Ed

The green boxes are still new to many drivers. I think it is going to take time for the vehicle drivers to get used to them. If you wait in front of the car in the greenbox I’m pretty sure any sensible driver will see your presence. It is just too bad some drivers ignore the greenbox and stops on it. Again, I think its just matter of time.

Ed
Guest
Ed

AGREE!!! You can’t convince the general public to bike like the rest of us who already commutes many years without bike lanes or the green boxes. New bike lanes will promote and convince new riders of all ages to feel safer.

Severin
Guest

Yum yum yum, enjoy all that exhaust! I don’t want to be treated like a car when cycling, I want to be prioritized because my mode of transport is more vulnerable and better for the environment and livability. Queuing up when you’re on a bike is kinda silly, I thought bikes were better because they don’t get stuck in traffic, cycling for this guy must suck if he never goes to the front, and sits back there breathing all the exhaust from cars.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

I tend to agree, minus getting up my own tailhole with smugness about it. I find the smug to be rather off-putting to other road users. Vulnerability is the reason they’re up there, not because you’re special for not polluting. Let’s not kid ourselves.

Severin
Guest

Why shouldn’t we prioritize environmental friendly, economic travel? Yes, bikes are better than cars for cities.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

maybe if you live in a little bubble.

Severin
Guest

Transit isn’t more vulnerable than private motorized traffic (I think) but we should prioritize transit anyway for a variety of factors– better for environment, can service more people, can reduce congestion…

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Transportation is about moving people, not vehicles, and especially not your cause du jour. Bike boxes are a safety feature, not a banner for your cause du jour. Having bicycle lanes allows faster traffic to pass easier and for bicycles to pass congestion. HOV and transit lanes get these modes around congestion. That’s all it’s about: Moving people as efficiently as possible. Everything else is entirely collateral effect.

Severin
Guest

I am not debating what transportation is but yes transportation should be about moving people safely, and efficiently. And the government should prioritize environmentally friendly modes of transport. As it happens, the most environmentally friendly modes are the most efficient.

Andrew Seger
Guest
Andrew Seger

If you’re not familiar with the area this 12th overcrossing of Sullivan’s Gulch is the best of a bad situation. The real solution to this overcrossing will be a nonmotorized bridge a bit further west on 7th.

Kerry
Guest
Kerry

If we’re being wholly honest, isn’t smugness at least a small part of the draw of cucling?

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

If it is, then I think we’ve stumbled on the biggest barrier to cycling anywhere and we need to end that problem.

Severin
Guest

It isn’t a big draw in countries where cycling is over 10% of trips and it isn’t a big barrier either. The biggest problem is people don’t feel safe or convenient traveling by bicycle and that’s what needs to change.

Al from PA
Guest
Al from PA

“Smugness” is always trotted out as a grievance against cyclists, who obviously make sacrifices for their transportation mode and who are thus necessarily more “aware” of the logic (and cost-benefit) of their choice than are car drivers (since motoring in our culture tends to be “transparent,” ie, the default, unquestioned and hence privileged position).

Since “smugness” in these discussions is never defined, I will try to do so: it is the unquestioned assumption of one’s own superiority.

But since cycling proponents are precisely questioning their own transport mode when they affirm it–they have objectively compared it with that of others–they can hardly be accused of smugness.

That said, if there is smugness in the domain of transport choice discussion it is largely to be found among the anti-smug faction, who raise the (non) issue in the first place and seem to assume that their use of the term automatically gives them the upper hand in any discussion.

The grand guru of the anti-smug faction is of course BikesnobNYC, who at least has the virtue of injecting a certain bad-faith irony into his own smugness.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

On the contrary, it’s kind of smug of you to assume that drivers have not made any cost-benefit analyses of their chosen mode of transport.

How the hell do you know what factors I consider if I drive?

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Thank you! This is what I meant earlier. The smug factor is alienating to people that might otherwise consider a different tool in the transportation toolbox.

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

Well, Severin…. are you not a” Little Know it all”‘ ?? I know Ed very well and spend as much time in his company as I can both on and off the bike. I can say with all certainty that he enjoys his life and the manner in which he rides. He also is a devout follower of obeying any and all traffic laws, and is sometimes one to help keep me in check, despite the fact that I have been riding twice as long as he has been alive. Lets try not to be one those people that despise cycling for once, what do ya say?

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

…rather I meant, “Lets not be one of those people that the motoring public seems to despise, through our smug actions and stances”.

jason
Guest
jason

Many riders (including myself), however, DO want to be treated like cars. So many drivers don’t know how to drive alongside bikes that they do unpredictable things that put us at risk. I’m a fast rider and when I need to, I ride like I’m a car to avoid hooks/unsafe passing.

While I’m on the subject, it’s turning into a major peeve of mine when drivers surrender the right of way at four-way-stops just because I’m on a bike. I understand that they’re trying to be courteous and I totally appreciate their intentions, but I time my approach based on the assumption that everyone will navigate the intersection in accordance with right of way laws. When a driver lingers at his sign for too long it throws me off, and he invariably waves me by just as I’m putting my foot down to stop. Maybe I’m being an ass, but when that happens, I just point to my sign and wait my turn.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“When a driver lingers at his sign for too long it throws me off…”

Don’t get me started. The whole point of a 4-way stop is for each party to observe the rules. When one party overdoes it with the courtesy–fails to observe the rules–the whole dance comes apart and you have everyone second guessing, which is nuts in this situation.

jason
Guest
jason

I should add that besides just “throwing me off,” I then feel somehow obligated to pedal harder from a dead stop just to “get out of their way.”

The last time I did that, I misunderestimated how unpredictable the driver would be and ended up face down on the sidewalk watching the driver speed away from the scene.

Kristen
Guest
Kristen

I have a four-way stop on my regular commute home. I always come to a stop, no matter if I’m driving or riding. When I’m on a bike, I’ve had people try to wave me through when clearly, it’s not my turn. I shake my head and wave them through instead. Then I take my turn.

I tend to ride like Ed– vehicularly– and my driving has improved as a result!

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

I have to admit that I do the same thing when I am on a bike. I am all for predictability on the road…..while I appreciate the sentiment, I’d rather we all obey the same laws equally.

deborah
Guest
deborah

It seems like there are times when the light is just about to turn green that it’s not wise to try and get into the bike box before it switches. This is especially true if the cars in front are turning right.

Severin
Guest

God it drives me crazy “We are part of traffic” mantra. Ok, you are traffic, and your city wants to prioritize your safety and get more people traveling by your mode!

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

So you’re against HOV and transit lanes as well?

Severin
Guest

Umm… no.Against them in addition to what? Vehicular cyclists?

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Your post had the implication that just because there’s a reserved lane, users of reserved lanes aren’t traffic.

Severin
Guest

That wasn’t the implication at all and I don’t think it was suggested either. Let me clarify:

God it drives me crazy “We are part of traffic” mantra. Ok, you are part of traffic, and your city wants to prioritize your traffic safety and get more people traveling in your mode of travel in traffic!

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

I think the bike boxes and bike lanes at intersections encourage (enable?) cyclists to pass cars on the right at intersections. With all the hubub about ‘right-hook’ accidents, it is rarely mentioned that a surefire way to avoid an accident is to refrain from passing on the right at an intersection.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Where right turning traffic is forced to improperly turn from a lane that isn’t the rightmost lane, I go crazy with the bell while overtaking traffic so drivers can hear me, and avoid riding next or close behind a car.

Paul Souders
Guest

Pre bike box, I had many close calls with right hooks along SW Broadway, especially when passing on the right.

Post bike box this has yet to happen. (In fact the main problem seems to be timid cyclists refusing to seize the ROW on a green light, which creates ambiguity)

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

After fifty years of bicycling in the manner I ride my motorcycle,I have never been “right hooked, due to the fact that I take the lane, and pass a right turning vehicle on the left. On my bicycle I am operating a legal vehicle, I maintain this in my mind, and in my actions. No apology if that stance upsets any one motorized or not. If you need bike lanes, than use them, don’t cry when you find them to be a detriment to your safety when you assume they protect you.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

We have a winner!

David
Guest
David

I’d pull in front of the SUV just to get out of the exhaust (I like bike boxes for other reasons too). The exhaust fumes are visible in this colder weather and I’m beginning to understand how much crap I breath on my commute.

Paul Souders
Guest

I did some research on this a few years ago and concluded you’re breathing pretty much the same air INSIDE the car, minus the particulates. For the entire journey.

http://blog.axoplasm.com/2008/04/19/the-automobile-pollutant-exposure-theory-of-bicycling-avoidance

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

Exhaust fumes are there, whether you see them or not.
What you are seeing in the photo is condensation due to cold weather more than fumes .
And to that point it does not matter if you are in the bike lane, green box, or at home on your front porch, you are breathing them in. BTW, I will take this chance to once more point out that Portland Oregon has one of the highest levels of Benzine toxins in its air than just about anyplace in the United States. All of this is do to sluggish legislation to have it removed from gasoline as an anti-knock additive. So argue all you wish over the little Green boxes in the intersection, while you believe your state to be more “Green” than others. just sayin’

J_R
Guest
J_R

If he’s intending to turn left at the NEXT intersection, he’s positioning himself to merge into the proper lane in the next block. I’ll be watching to see if that’s his explanation.

Nik
Guest
Nik

That particular box is unique because it’s in an intersection where nobody—bikes or cars—can turn right. It’s part of the recent reconfiguration of the 12th Ave overpass for better bike access, and serves to notify drivers to be aware of cyclists on the overpass after turning right at the next signal.

I would guess that the cyclist’s motive for queuing with cars is to wind up in the left turn lane on the overpass on 12th, and he doesn’t want to get stuck to the right of other vehicles at or before the upcoming turn, necessitating a merge while in motion.

I like that bike box because of the bike awareness factor, and because it can serve as an island to help cyclists cross the rightmost lane in order to get to the bike lane that continues straight on Lloyd.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Anything other than seperated, elevated, or blocked off cycling lanes offers nothing more than a false sense of security.

How many of us on here that have a drivers license have laughed out loud or thought “oh my god” when we met someone who failed the drivers license test. A monkey with 3 months training could do it, and Portland’s was one of the harder (read as ‘not laughable’) ones out of the 4 states exams that I have taken. How many people have you met that failed both parts of the test MULTIPLE times and are now daily drivers?

It is laughable to think that anything that doesn’t create a physical barrier would do anything to protect a cyclist. The current bicycle safety endeavours create cultural capital that politicians can bank with their constituents. Bottom line.

I am all for anything that purports to increase bicycle safety, but I am not fooled by 99% of it. Without defense or barriers seperating the cars from us, I firmly believe that nothing other than one’s self can be relied on to protect one’s self, and even that can be surprised.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

considering that its been a while since a cyclist in pdx died i would suggest that cycling in or out of traffic is actually a relatively safe thing to do.

walking or driving…not so much.

cycler
Guest

It’s hard to draw real conclusions from this kind of photo, without information about the before and after of this moment. While I would normally ride up to the front of the bike lane, and would only use the bike box if I were trying to merge left, and knew I could make it before the light changed.

I agree that the nuanced issue, and gradation of opinions from hard core VC to completely pro-infrastucture makes it harder to distill a message for advocacy. In our area there is a conflict right now between “strong and confident” bikers who don’t mind going over a high-speed traffic bridge connecting two parks, and others who would prefer to pull the bridge down and use the savings of not having to re-build it to create a complete network of cycletracks as an alternative.
While the majority of cyclists and advocates want the cycletracks at grade, bridge supporters are pointing to the few VC’ers as evidence that the bridge would meet cyclists’ needs.

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Does Ed really need to give an explanation, let alone ‘justify’ his choice, to ya’ll? He made a decision for his own reasons. I doubt any of you would appreciate being put in this position. Let it be. Debate bike lanes & boxes all you want.

Ed
Guest
Ed

Hello everyone

I really like the bike box and bike lanes there and I think they especially help when continuing East on Lloyd.

I’m just in the habit of merging into the right turn lane before the bridge. I was in the bike lane until the last minute and the car in front had been waiting at the red light.

At that point the bridge was totally full and it wasn’t clear how many vehicles would get through on the next cycle and I figured, what they heck they’ve been waiting a while. Next time, I might use the box I don’t know.

I wouldn’t read too much into it.

Ed

Champs
Guest
Champs

Moving traffic doesn’t politely queue up behind you when it can (safely) move faster, so there’s no point in a cyclist doing any differently. The only practical reason for lining up behind that SUV would be to make a left turn.

For the likely unrelated subject of bike boxes, I don’t think there’s been any, much less enough education on their use. What I don’t recommend is watching this Streetfilms video on the subject, unless you can control the urge to punch back at the screen:
http://www.streetfilms.org/how-to-use-a-bike-box/

NF
Guest
NF

I remember the big billboards the city put up advertising the first of the bike boxes. I thought they were pretty effective. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeportland/2324628982/

They did make a brochure about it, but I’m not sure how they distributed these: http://www.fcgov.com/bicycling/pdf/bike_box.pdf

ShareTheRoad
Guest
ShareTheRoad

I think it’s elitist for automobiles to get all the special treatment that they enjoy. That being said, there is nothing wrong with having different lanes for different modes of travel.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

this picture ROCKS!

the light turns green and the cyclist is pedaling so fast to start moving that there’s FLAMES coming from his wheel! FLAMES!!!

that’s hard core!

what did that God-on-a-bike eat for breakfast?! cuz he’s burning some serious calories…

JF
Guest
JF

I don’t think the bike boxes are made for bikes to jump in front of cars if there is a bike lane to the right.

The bike boxes are for people riding bikes in the bicycle lane wanting to take a left turn on a busy street. The pull into the bike box and wait for the light. After the light turns green, they can merge back into the bike lane in the direction they wanted to go.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

if they were for making a left turn then they would extend all the way to the left lane, but I’ve only seen bike boxes in the right-most lanes…

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Not quite, no. You can’t make a left from a through lane if there’s a left turn lane; you still need to go to the left turn lane for that (or “run the bases” using the crosswalks).

Tourbiker
Guest

I can think of at least 2 people in the last few years that would still be alive today is they had taken the lane like ED here…One was run over by a cement truck.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Tourbiker,

I know what you’re trying to say… but I find that comparison not only bad but insensitive. There’s a major difference between this photo and the collisions that killed Tracey and Brett… in Tracey’s case there was no colored bike lane or bike box for her to be in (had she been in a bike box, she would not have been killed). In Brett’s case, he was riding relatively fast and it wasn’t a stopped situation. If there was a colored lane or bike box, it just might have made the garbage truck driver take a bit more caution before making the right turn.

Greg
Guest
Greg

I’m not “all for” separated bike facilities. I use them when they make sense, and I refuse to use them when they don’t. Example: The MUP beside Terwilliger that runs past Tryon Creek Park. I use it going up hill, but not when going down.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

What Greg said. This is the problem when you live in a “mandatory sidepath” state. There are those cyclists who are timid and slow (not trying to be disparaging, they are there)–or who would be timid and slow if they could be enticed to ride at all–and then there are those who are “strong and fearless”, with everybody falling somewhere in between. I’m sure the timid and slower riders would welcome separation the same way pedestrians welcome sidewalks. However, anyone who is in the “strong and confident/fearless” category, who rides at >15mph, is going to naturally be leery of any new infrastructure to which they will be legally confined–especially when so much half-baked, afterthought-inspired “bike infrastructure” makes riding anywhere slower, more complicated and more dangerous. Yet everyone–both slow and fast–is legally required to use any existing “bike lane or path” no matter how it helps or hinders your trip. I can’t help but think that there are two main reasons for having a mandatory sidepath law: 1) Keep your dang slow bike out of my frickin’ way! At all times! 2) If you non-tax-paying, bike-riding freeloaders want so many bike lanes, then you’re darn sure going to use them if we waste hard-earned gas tax money to paint them!

If bike infrastructure were optional, I don’t think there would be much opposition to it at all. We would find out rather quickly which attempts at infrastructure suited the needs of cyclists and which ones didn’t…we just need to leave it up to those with the experience of using it to decide.

David Thomson
Guest
David Thomson

My thoughts exactly. A lot of the proposed separated bikeways will be a major step backward for experienced cyclists, but we will be required to use them anyway. As long as that is true I will continue to let my elected representatives know that many cyclists do not support these types of facilities.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

end the mandatory sidepath law!

Randall S.
Guest
Randall S.

Sometimes it’s better to not use the bike facilities. There’s a bike lane all the way down 14th from Jefferson to Burnside, which is great if you want to turn left, but horrible if you’re going across Burnside, since the lane moves to the right side of the street and requires you to cross 2 or three lanes of traffic in a really short distance. I usually just get in the lane and move over, since it’s less of a hassle for both myself and the motor traffic.

was carless
Guest
was carless

I ride in the left lane on SW Madison, as I turn left on 2nd ave going North to Burnside. Haven’t had any problems yet, and I’ve been doing it for 5 years, 5 days a week, commuting from PSU.

Capizzi
Guest
Capizzi

The situation prior to the bike box was that cyclists either took the lane or ran the red light in order to position themselves in the left (southbound) lane on the 12th street bridge. The box gives cyclists the jump to get there before the cars pinch them on the corner of Lloyd and 12th.

Cars usually want to take a left on Irving and get to the I84 ramp and a lot of cyclists are headed East on Irving or to 16th south to get to Ankeny or Salmon. The box inhibits the ‘racing mentality’, offers the cyclist choices, and increases safety for everyone.

Red
Guest
Red

At a bike box intersection, I wait at the head of the bike lane. The bike box keeps the car back a little so a driver has a better chance of seeing me. Without the bike box, I assume I am out of a driver’s peripheral vision, unless I make eye contact. I ride from Lloyd Center to Tannasbourne, so most of my commute is in the ‘burbs. I don’t want to slow traffic down, but I want drivers to see me. I usually stop where Ed stopped: the drivers ahead of me can punch it, the drivers behind me can undoubtedly see my florescent derrière.

are
Guest

jonathan,
i happen to have participated in an e-mail conversation with several people involved in making the final decision on this particular box. i do not feel that i have anyone’s permission to mention names, but i would say that my understanding of the decision was that the particular box, though “nonstandard” in the sense that there is no right turn at that intersection, served a function in helping a cyclist southbound on 11th to assert the left travel lane on the 12th overcrossing in order to prepare for a left onto irving — in brief, to enable a cyclist to jump the queue. there was some last minute questioning of whether to put this in, and although i myself do not use green boxes anywhere, and would certainly do what ed is shown doing here, i argued pretty forcefully for keeping this box in the plan, and i will tell you why: the argument advanced for taking the box out of the plan was essentially that with the improved ramps onto the sidewalk and the copenhagen box at the south end of the bridge, maybe fewer cyclists would “continue to make this maneuver,” i.e., asserting the left lane on the bridge to make the left onto irving, so the box would in effect be redundant. my concern was that if you used that logic to delete the box, the next step would be deleting the sharrows from the deck.

are
Guest

correction, not “southbound on 11th,” but “eastbound on lloyd”

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

At a stop, everyone is prevailing speed, so full lane it is. Screw the rest. I find myself aggressively taking the lane at all opportunities these days and recommend everyone interpret 814.430 for themselves with an eye for the same…. Block the cars… All the time and at all costs… All day long, every day. No cops are ticketing for this. It’s worse than SOPA that people are afraid to do the same….

9watts
Guest
9watts

Why does a second front bike wheel appear on Ed’s left foot? Is he pushing another bike?

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

Maybe hanging on the back of the Ford?

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

Ed has constructed a pair of awesome “wheel totes” that he can bolt on to his fork, allowing him to carry spares to “Cross races or to go trail riding. He rides to most of the ‘Cross races locally to warm up his fantastic race machine body, uses his 15mm to install his tubular wheels, then lines up to race SO HARD that the tubular’s just blow off the rim!!! just ask him, if you don’t believe me. He is a hero!!!

julie
Guest
julie

Ed has made some strange choices from A) not wearing a helmet to B) inhaling all the exhaust from the vehicles.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

do you wear a helmet and gas mask when you cross a city arterial by foot?

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

Wearing a helmet is a proactive step – not wearing one connotes an indifference to one’s own safety.

As for your analogy about crossing the street, a better example would be “does he look both ways before crossing?”

Because not looking would only invite a negative outcome.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

its quite possible that helmets would have saved the lives of several of the pedestrian who were slaughtered senseless by motorists in the metro area. it is even more likely that helmets and body armor would save the lives of the many dozens of metro area motorists who die in senseless and brutal traffic accidents. if you think cyclists should wear helmets you should be an even stronger supporter of helmets (and body armor) for motorists.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

You’re kind of contradicting yourself here:

On one hand, looking both ways, rather than wearing a helmet, would protect pedestrians and is effectively their “proactive step”. But on the other hand, riding legally and with defensive awareness isn’t a “proactive step” for cyclists? Those on bikes must wear protective headgear in order to be considered “proactive” and not “indifferent to their own safety”?

are
Guest

i don’t think an “analogy” was intended, i think sparewheel was saying ed is not breathing appreciably more exhaust fumes where he is than any pedestrian crossing the same street would be.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Lots of other places in the world, wearing a helmet is the strange choice…

sorebore
Guest
sorebore

I hope in his life he makes as many strange choices as his free will can bare, like unsafe sex on a motorcycle , opiates, alcohol abuse, armed robbery and escape in a stolen Camaro, ritual Black Witchcraft, mercenary killing for cash, god I could on forever…Dress yourself Mom, this post is not about helmet laws.

“Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live”
C. Bukowski

beelnite
Guest
beelnite

For me it’s social. I feel uncomfortable sometimes and like I’m going to irritate or annoy drivers. It’s a just a feeling, a mood. I feel weird taking the que.

It’s the same feeling I get sometimes at that light on Burnside and 42nd. I push the button – everyone has to stop for little old me. Just me. It’s funky. I feel self-conscious.

I don’t want to “run red lights” or anything, but sometimes I like to just stay out of the way and not risk anyone’s ire. It’s tempting to avoid these things put in place for ME for that very reason.

I guess I care what those people in their cars think for some reason – even though I really have little idea what anyone is really thinking.

are
Guest

[irony off]
you are making me feel sad here

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I know how you feel, which is why I try to be cooperative, without being subordinate. Those times when–for safety or efficiency reasons–I may be causing some motorist a slight delay or some kind of discomfort, I reassure myself by a) having a sound rationale for doing what I am doing, and b) realizing that drivers sure as shootin’ don’t care what I think of them.

are
Guest

thanks, el, i didn’t know how to respond to beelnite.

i will suggest that if you assert your proper share of the road with appropriate signaling of your intentions, and behave predictably and with courtesy, most motorists will not resent you, and those few who do have problems you have no responsibility to address, except for your own protection.

Ben Guernsey
Guest
Ben Guernsey

He should consider utilizing the box just to avoid sitting in those fumes. I queued up in front of a car today because of it’s gross plume of carbon just this morning.