Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Look What Portland Does with Its Green Bike Box

Curtis & Tricia Portland 062108 067.JPG by ccorlew.
Part of Portland's marketing campaign for using bike boxes.
photo by ccorlew on flickr

San Francisco wants to become the premiere bicycling city of North America, according to Nathaniel Ford, Executive Director of the city's Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA). But first we have to catch up with Portland, our green city to the north that seems to spin out cutting-edge bike facilities left and right and down the center lane. Take bike boxes, for example.

Earlier this month MTA's Ford joined Mayor Gavin Newsom and three supervisors to tout the city's new green bike box on Scott Street at Oak, as we posted here on December 4th. They even painted it in unison. But there it sits today: it's bright green, it has a purpose, many bicyclists know how to use it, some motorists know to stop behind it when the north-bound traffic signal is red. But something is missing.

Before the press conference and the green paint, there was an asphalt gray bike box at that exact location with a bicyclist icon in it, suggesting its use by, well, bicyclists. (Even that left cyclists and drivers guessing, since no signs were posted with any how-to-use directions). Today there's no bicyclist icon, sharrows, "wait here" message, or anything else.

So take a look at how Portland uses its bike boxes:

Bike Box by itdp.
photo by itdp on Flickr

portland bike box2 by Beach650.
photo by Beach650 on Flickr

Better yet, check out this new Streetfilms video. Caution: "bike box envy" may result from one or more viewings of "Bike Box." So, MTA, where's the rest of the bike box?

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