'Bike boxes' pop up at Grand Rapids intersections

posted by 24 Hour News 8 - 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Drivers will encounter something new at at least two Grand Rapids intersections: bike boxes.

The designated areas are located along North Division Avenue, at Lyon Street and Pearl Street NE. At the intersections, the bike lane opens up at the intersection, allowing bicyclists who are turning left to move ahead of traffic stopped at a red light.

Downtown GR Inc. explained how the new traffic construction works on Twitter Tuesday.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials says bike boxes increase visibility of bicyclists and helps group bicyclists together so they can clear an intersection quickly, leading to less confusion and delays.

Crews installed the bike boxes on July 23, weeks after adding bicycle lanes north of that area as part of "A Better Bikeway" pilot program. Bicyclists on North Division Avenue are separated from vehicle traffic by painted lines and a series of posts, which run between Michigan Street and Coldbrook Street.

The move comes about two months after Grand Rapids posted a 295-page draft of its Bicycle Action Plan, with an aim of making the city a “world-class bicycle community for all.”

It’s unclear how many bike boxes the city intends to add.

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