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Left Turn Bike Boxes

What is a bike box?

One form of bike box is a two-stage left turn, also known as a “Copenhagen left”, which offers bicyclists a safe way to cross multi-lane signalized intersections from a right side bike lane.

York Region has now installed its first permanent two-stage left turn bike boxes in the boulevard at several intersections on Highway 7.  These replace temporary bike boxes that were painted on the road.

The bike boxes provide:

  • improved bicyclist ability to safely and comfortably make left turns
  • a formal queuing space for bicyclists making a two-stage left turn
  • reduced turning conflicts between bicyclists and motor vehicles
  • prevention of conflicts arising from bicyclists queuing in a bike lane or crosswalk

 

 

Why are bike boxes part of the new rapidway on Highway 7?

The bike boxes have been implemented to provide cyclists with a safe way to make left turns at intersections.  This avoids cyclists having to cross three lanes of traffic to get into the left turn lane, and then turn across the rapidway bus lanes and three lanes of opposing traffic.

Where are they located?

Bike boxes are located at every signalized intersection along the Hwy 7 East Markham-Richmond Hill rapidway.  They will also be installed on other segments in the future.  Rapidways are dedicated lanes in the centre of Highway 7 for Viva vehicles only.  Passenger access is located at signalized intersections.

The Hwy 7 locations are as follows:

  • Chalmers Road
  • Saddlecreek Drive
  • Valleymede Drive
  • West Beaver Creek/Commerce Valley Drive West
  • Leslie Street
  • East Beaver Creek/Commerce Valley Drive East
  • Allstate Parkway/East Valhalla Drive
  • Frontenac Drive/Cochrane Drive
  • Woodbine Avenue
  • Lunar Crescent
  • Montgomery Court/Fairburn Drive
  • Rodick Road
  • Town Centre Boulevard/South Town Centre Boulevard

Diagram of map showing the locations of the left turn bike boxes. For a detailed description of this map please call 905 830 4444 extension 75051

How are they used?

For Motorists:

  • If turning on a red light from the cross street, watch for cyclists entering the bike box from the bike lane
  • When turning right on a green light, yield to cyclists proceeding from the bike box before making the turn
  • If going straight on a green light, pass cyclists only when it is safe to do so

For Cyclists:

  • When the traffic signal for the cross street is red, cyclists enter the bike box from the bike lane
  • You should position yourself and your bicycle to the right side of the bike box in order to leave room for other cyclists
  • When the light turns green, ride straight through the intersection in the traffic lane, not the crosswalk
  • If there is more than one cyclist in the bike box, let the cyclist to the right proceed first
  • Left turns onto Highway 7 are not permitted from the left turn bike boxes

Cyclists and motorists are asked to ride and drive with care by being respectful and courteous.  We must understand that our roads are shared and that motorists and cyclists have equal rights and responsibilities to use the road.

Are right turns on red permitted?

Yes, right turns on red are permitted now that the permanent bike boxes are installed in the boulevard and the temporary bike boxes in front of shared through/right lanes, where cyclists obstruct the right turn movement, have been removed.

Cycling in York Region:

Cycling in York Region includes on-road bike lanes and paved shoulders, shared roadways on bicycle-friendly streets, paths in the boulevard, and multi-use trails through green space.  The regional cycling network connects local municipalities and major trail systems, links urban and rural centres as well as key attractions in the Region.

Continued investment in cycling is important because it offers a wide range of health, economic, environmental and social benefits.  These include improved personal health, reduced health care costs as a result of lower rates of chronic conditions through active living, reduced traffic congestion in urban areas, a cleaner environment and increased tourism opportunities.

 

 



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