Evaluation of Bike Boxes at Signalized Intersections

Jennifer Dill, Portland State University



This report presents a before-after study of bike boxes at 10 signalized intersections in Portland, Oregon. The bike boxes, also known as advanced stop lines or advanced stop boxes, were installed to increase visibility of cyclists and reduce conflicts between motor vehicle and cyclists, particularly in potential ―right-hook situations. Before and after video were analyzed for seven intersections with green bike boxes, three intersections with uncolored bike boxes, and two control intersections. User perceptions were measured through surveys of cyclists passing through five of the bike box intersections and of motorists working downtown, where the boxes were concentrated. Both the observations and survey of motorists found a high rate of compliance and understanding of the markings. Overall, 73% of the stopping motor vehicles did not encroach at all into the bike box. Both motor vehicle and bicycle encroachment in the pedestrian crosswalk fell significantly at the bike box locations compared to the control intersections. The bike boxes had mixed effects on the motorists’ encroachment in the bicycle lane. The number of observed conflicts at the bike box locations decreased, while the total number of cyclists and motor vehicles turning right increased. Negative-binomial models based upon the data predict fewer conflicts with the boxes, particularly as right-turning motor vehicle volumes increase. Observations of yielding behavior at two bike box and one control intersection found an improvement in motorists yielding to cyclists at the bike box locations. Differences in the traffic volumes and location contexts make firm conclusions about the effects of green coloring of the boxes difficult. Higher shares of surveyed motorists felt that the bike boxes made driving safer rather than more dangerous, even when the sample was narrowed to respondents who were not also cyclists. Over three-quarters of the surveyed cyclists thought that the boxes made the intersection safer.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
January 31,2010
UTC Grant Cycle:
OTREC 2009
UTC Funding: