Bike Boxes: A Big Success

Wonderful news:

http://www.portlandmercury.com/images/blogimages/2012/10/16/1350403953-bike_box_letter_merc.pdf

The article notes that they installed 11 bike boxes in Oregon. In most locations crashes were reduced slightly or roughly stayed the same.

In 4 sites, the number of crashes seems to go up. However, all four higher crash sites are down hill. LTRS know that downhill cycling is twice as dangerous as flat ground cycling.

So it was predictable that these spots would be the trouble spots.

LTRS also know that infrastructure tends to draw out more cyclists. In this case this was true! However, there is apparently not accurate counts of the before and after cyclists which renders most of the research speculative. Further confounding evidence is the better reporting by the authorities of bicycle crashes. So there is some (good but confounding) reporting bias.

Not only that but 88% or a large majority of the crashes occurred while traffic is flowing aka stale green. BIKE BOXES AREN’T MEANT TO PROTECT YOU FROM FLOWING TRAFFIC. Thus, it’s a little inane to even focus on these crashes with relation to bike boxes at all.

The point of a bike box is for there to be a safe place to STOP during a red light and for you to be safe when starting up again. According to the linked research this goal was met.

Even more strange, the starting point for bike boxes places you WHERE VC CYCLISTS WOULD WANT YOU TO BE ANYWAY! Why VCers are so opposed to bike boxes is a mystery to me.

They make cyclists safer, they get more cyclists riding, and they reduce ambiguity. A win, win, win.

They do not help sell crappy classes and they are not part of Forester’s American Dream (sic).

Most motorists, post bike box, yielded to cyclists even when they were passing on the right (98%). This means that bike boxes are actually giving us the “Rights to the Road” that CABO and Co with their American Dream start are all too happy to piss away by their insane and meglanomaniacal obsession with eliminating cycling infrastructure.

Not I almost NEVER pass on the right unless there is a red light and I feel it’s safe to filter forward.

Since there are four problem intersections, the engineers are doing what good engineers do, they fix the problem by making their product better. They do not give up and teach us to get back into the cycling equivalent of caves.

Some of their ideas are to ban right turns all together on these streets. That should make accident prone behavior illegal. Other ideas include intersection reconfiguration by removing parking in some cases. Another idea is a separate signal phase for bicycles.

Despite this some idiot VCer misread this as to “prove” that bike boxes make things more dangerous:

” Yesterday, the city released a depressing letter (PDF) to the Federal Highway Administration that shows the bike boxes may have actually doubled the number of crashes.” (sic)

Actually this is not true. The bike boxes reduced the types of crashes that it intended to reduce and got more people cycling. The increased crashes could be from many reasons but there’s no clear evidence that bike boxes caused crashes: “coorelation does not equal causation.”

“What is the city going to do from here?”

If this genius actually read the report it’s spelled out. See above. Or better yet, read the full report yourself.

Some people see only what they want to see which is fascinating to me.

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