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City Installs First Green ‘Bike Box’ in Santa Cruz County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2017
Amelia Conlen, Transportation Coordinator, (831) 420- 5187
Janice Bisgaard, Community Relations Specialist, (831) 420-5166
SANTA CRUZ — The City of Santa Cruz is installing the first green “bike box” in Santa Cruz County at the intersection of Seabright and Soquel avenues on Friday, July 7. The green pavement markings will help prevent right hook collisions by positioning people on bikes in front of drivers so that they are clearly visible. Right hook collisions, in which drivers turn right without checking for cyclists in the bike lane, are a common cause of bike/car crashes. Bike boxes have already been installed throughout 20 U.S. cities including San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Chicago.
A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of waiting traffic during the red signal phase. Installation at the Seabright/Soquel intersection is expected to conclude by the end of the day.
This location was chosen for the first bike box because of the offset configuration of the intersection. From Seabright, drivers can either make a left and then a quick right to stay on Seabright, or turn left onto Soquel. This creates the potential for conflict between drivers turning right onto Seabright and bicyclists staying left to get onto Soquel.
Bicyclists should use the bike box on Seabright northbound when the light is red to travel straight on Seabright or make a left turn onto Soquel. Cyclists should proceed in the bike lane to the front of the intersection and move into the bike box. Bicyclists should stop before the crosswalk and position themselves directly in front of waiting automobiles. When the light turns green, bicyclists should move through the intersection ahead of traffic. Hand signals are advised to tell drivers of intended turn direction before moving into the bike lane or to the right side of the street after passing through the intersection.
The bike box should only be used by bicyclists when the light is yellow or red. If cyclists approach this intersection when the light is green, the bike lane should be used to approach the intersection to proceed normally, and with caution.
When drivers approach the intersection on northbound Seabright at Soquel and the light is yellow or red, they should stop at the white line behind the green bike box. Drivers should stay clear of the bike box to allow bicyclists to use it. If people on bikes are in front of vehicles in the bike box, drivers should allow them to travel first through the intersection. Drivers are advised to watch for cyclists who may be turning right onto Seabright as well as turning left onto Soquel.
The bike box installation is funded by Measure H tax dollars as part of the striping work within the Fall 2016 Surface Seal Project.
For more information including how to use a bike box, please visit www.cityofsantacruz.com.