MTD Pulse

How to Use A Bike Box: Stop. Turn. Wait.

Lisa Meid

Ever wonder why those green boxes are painted in the middle of the intersection at Green & Goodwin? Did you think that cyclists were required to walk their bikes through an intersection on campus? In just over a minute, this video will show you how a Bike Box works.

A Bike Box (or Two-Stage Left Turn Box) provides bicyclists an easy way to make left turns on a multi-lane road. It provides a painted green box on the pavement where bicyclists can wait out of the travel path of motor vehicles. New to the University of Illinois campus in Fall 2018, Bike Boxes were installed as part of the MCORE Project and are designed to help cyclists and motorists share the road safely. 

Why do we need Bike Boxes? 

  • They avoid the need for bicyclists to cross multiple lanes of traffic to get into the left-turn lane.
  • They reduce turning conflicts between vehicles and bicyclists within the intersection area.
  • They provide a shorter travel path than traditional two-stage left turns. 

What should bicyclists do? (Hint: Stop. Turn. Wait. Then, Go on Green.)

  •  Proceed straight through the intersection on a green light into the bike box.
  •  Position your bike toward the new direction.
  • Wait for the light to turn green and ride through the intersection into the bike lane.

What should drivers do? (Hint: Use Caution. Yield to Cyclists in the Bike Box.)

  • If turning right on a red light from the cross street, watch for cyclists entering the bike box from the bike lane.
  • When turning right on a green light, yield to cyclists proceeding from the bike box before making the turn.
  • If going straight on a green light, pass cyclists only when it is safe to do so with at least 3 ft. between you and the cyclist.

Can't get enough bike box info? Here's the City of Urbana's Bike Box video