Tallahassee is Getting a “Bike Box”

CITY OF TALLAHASSEE NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2012

CONTACT:  Megan Doherty, Transportation Planning, 891-6400; or Misi Tuttle, Communications Department, 891-8533

Bike Box: Get Behind It

New Traffic Control Measure Aims to Protect Cyclists
 
Next week, the City of Tallahassee will install a new cyclist friendly traffic control measure on Call Street at the intersection of Call Street and Stadium Drive. Bike boxes will be installed at both the eastbound and westbound approaches.

 
The goal of a Bike Box is to create a safe location for cyclists on the road at intersections in an effort to prevent bike and car collisions. The life-saving benefits of awareness and safety for cyclists in our community is the driving force behind this project.

 
“Tallahassee is the first city in the Panhandle and one of the first cities in the state of Florida to install bike boxes,” said City Commissioner Mark Mustian, lead commissioner on cycling issues and co-creator of the new joint City-County Bicycling Workgroup. “As a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community, we continually strive to make our roads safer and our city more cyclist friendly. Both motorists and cyclists need to be aware of one another and share the road in a safe, responsible manner.”

 
The Bike Box is highly visible when installed. It consists of a green area with a white bicycle symbol inside placed between the white stop bar and the pedestrian crosswalk. Additionally, a portion of the existing bike lane leading up to the intersection is painted green with white bicycle symbols to indicate to motorists they are approaching an intersection with a Bike Box.

 
Bike boxes are easy to use for both cyclists and motorists. You can learn how quickly and easily by watching the City’s How Do I? video online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeLhfd15zhw. Whether you’re in a car or on a bike, we all have a responsibility to share the road.

 
Don’t have time to watch the video? Here’s the even shorter version:

  • If you are driving and come to an intersection with a Bike Box, all you need to do is stop behind the white line and be aware of any cyclists on the road. You cannot turn right on red at an intersection with a Bike Box, unless there is a designated right turn lane.
  • If you are riding, where you stop depends on which direction you wish to travel. For straight through travel or right turns, you can stay in the right side of the box or in the bike lane. For left turns, you move into the left side of the Bike Box in front of the left turn lane. Be sure to use proper hand signals to let motorists know where you are heading.

 

Statistical data from progressive, cycling friendly communities, like Portland, Ore., and Austin, Texas, show that bike boxes reduce the number of collisions between motorists turning right and cyclists going straight or turning right, better known as “right hook” collisions.

 

The Bike Box concept was introduced and supported by the cycling community during community meetings regarding Moving Tallahassee: Cars Optional plan, which was discussed with the community during the past year. The city plans to work with the cycling community to potentially identify other intersections for future locations of bike boxes.

 
The Bike Box will be installed overnight from Monday, October 29, to Tuesday, October 30. Work will take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. W. Call Street will be closed to through traffic. Eastbound traffic will be detoured at Conradi Street to Tennessee Street to Stadium Drive. Westbound traffic will be detoured at Murphee Street to Tennessee Street. Stadium Drive will remain open.

 
The Bike Box program is being coordinated by the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department and City of Tallahassee Public Works Department. For more information on bike boxes, please visit Talgov.com.

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