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Bike Boxes

What is a Bike Box?

The purpose of the Bike Box is to assist cyclists to turn left at intersections.

What does a Bike Box look like?

Bike Boxes are vivid green painted areas located at intersections with traffic signals.

bike box on oxford street in london ontario

The image above shows a Bike Box at the intersection of Oxford Street West and Sanatorium Road.

Why Does the City Paint Bike Boxes?

This designated green area significantly increases the visibility of cyclists, making drivers more aware of their presence. Bike boxes also make it easier and safer for a cyclist waiting at an intersection to make a left turn, rather than having to weave through traffic while trying to signal.

Bike boxes also help to prevent drivers from making right turns in front of cyclists approaching from behind, alleviating the “right hook” effect.

bike box on platt

The image above shows a cyclist using a bike box along Platt’s Lane.

Bike Box FAQ

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  • How do I use a Bike Box - When the traffic signal is amber or red?

    For Cyclists

    Enter the bike box from the approaching bike lane, watching for right-turning vehicles. Stop in the bike lane to the far right of the bike box.

    If you are going straight, stay to the right in the bike lane until the light turns green. This will allow right-turning vehicles to turn around you if they are able to do so safely, and will keep the bike box clear for cyclists turning left to get through.

    To prepare for a left turn, signal and move to the left of the bike box. When the light turns green proceed through the intersection and into the bike lane.

    For Drivers

    Stop at the stop line behind the marked bike box. Cyclists will pull into the bike box in front of you where it’s easy for you to see them. When the light turns green, proceed through the intersection as usual, leaving space for the cyclists to go first.

  • How do I use a Bike Box - When the traffic signal is green?

    For Cyclists

    Approach the intersection as usual. Use the bike lane to travel straight or turn right. Watch for right-turning vehicles.

    When turning left, signal and merge in to the left turn lane before the intersection. Proceed through the intersection and into the bike lane.

    Cyclists move through the intersection as usual, signalling and using caution to ensure that traffic is clear before turning.

    For Drivers

    Proceed through the intersection as usual, sharing the road with cyclists. When turning right, make sure the bike lane on your right is clear—someone on a bike may have approached from behind you.

  • Why is the Bike Box green?

    Bike boxes are green to make them more visible to drivers.

  • What are the advantages of a Bike Box?
    1. Allows cyclists to move to the front of the traffic queue where they are more visible.
    2. Facilitates left-turn movement.
    3. Reminds drivers to watch for cyclists.
  • Is there a traffic light sensor installed in the Bike Box?

    Yes, traffic light sensors are embedded beneath the white bicycle pavement markings or in radar detectors on the traffic signals. Cyclists are advised to stop on the white bicycle pavement markings to trigger the sensor.

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