Bike boxes are the area between the vehicular stop line, crosswalk and curb edge. The area is made accessible by a preceding bike lane (typically found on the right side of the road). The area is there to provide a safer space for queuing bicycles at an intersection. It helps bicyclists clear the intersection faster by putting them out in front. By waiting in a bike box, cyclists don't have to sit behind idling cars breathing in noxious fumes.
|Photo of a bike box.|
Bike boxes might be making an appearance in a city or town near you in the coming years. They're becoming pretty standard in some of the progressive bike places like Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis. They are appearing in local bicycle master plan. They're also found in cities across Europe. They can look a little different, but they have the same purpose - to make it safer for bikes to ride through an intersection.