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Tips for drivers and bicyclists in navigating new ‘bike boxes’ on the Blacksburg campus

Bright green bike box markings on pavement at intersection of Stanger Street, Prices Fork Road, and Toms Creek. View from roof of Goodwin Hall.
Bike boxes, the bright green design markings shown in the photo above, can now be found at the intersection of Prices Fork Road, Toms Creek Road, and Stanger Street. Sarah Myers for Virginia Tech.

New green pavement markings - bike boxes - at the intersection of Prices Fork Road, Toms Creek Road, and Stanger Street at the edge of the Blacksburg campus are helping to increase safety for cyclists and drivers alike by raising visibility and awareness of bicyclists at intersections.

Safety and visibility benefits of bike boxes:

  • At a red light, bicyclists are more visible to people in cars because they’re positioned at the front of the intersection.
  • Bicyclists get first priority in crossing the intersection when the lights turn green.
  • They facilitate bicyclists’ left-turn positioning at intersections during the red light phase.
  • They help prevent crashes between bicyclists and right-turning vehicles.

Tips for navigating bike boxes:

Motorists

  1. Don’t stop on top of the bike box. Stop behind the white stop line behind the green box.
  2. When the signal turns green, do not pass people on bicycles while in the intersection.
  3. Watch for people on bicycles around you, especially in front of you and to your right.
Image of 2 cyclists and a car in a bike box
Cyclists get first priority in crossing the intersection with the new bike boxes.

Cyclists

  1. When the traffic signal is yellow or red, enter the bike box from the approaching bicycle lane. 
  2. Stop in the bike box, before the crosswalk. 
  3. If the signal is green, proceed through the intersection as normal. Make the necessary lane changes to turn right or left, staying aware of turning vehicles.
Bike box painting illustration
Diagrams: Portland Bureau of Transportation.
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