Posted on June 09, 2010 3:01 AM
Madison tries a European idea to improve bike safety
Last month, city engineers from Madison, Wisconsin began installing a red “bike box” at a busy intersection in the city’s downtown. Madison plans to install between 10 and 20 similar boxes at other intersections throughout the year. The bike boxes are intended to minimize conflicts between motorists and bicyclists by giving the bicyclists a marked, visible, and safe place to wait for the traffic signal green phase. The design, formed with a thermoplastic material affixed to the pavement with a blowtorch, includes glass beads reflective to headlights, according to Madison city traffic engineer Dave Dryer. The bike boxes are the first project from a fact-finding tour of bicycle-friendly cities in Germany and the Netherlands made in April by the Mayor of Madison, city and county Transportation planning staff, and civic and business leaders.