Park Avenue Gets Bike Safety Upgrade
Travelers along Park Avenue will notice some bright new safety features on the street as the City of San José wraps up a safety project along one of its primary bikeways. Four design element updates make bicyclists and pedestrians more visible and predictable along the corridor:
- Between Sunol Street and McEvoy Street, and between Meridian Avenue and Randol Avenue, the existing bike lanes have been upgraded with an extra paint “buffer” between bicyclists and the regular travel lane.
- At locations where bike lanes approach signalized intersections, or where the travel lane crosses over the bike lane, bright green paint now calls the attention of both drivers and bicyclists.
- San José’s first bike boxes have been installed at Sandringham Way, Shasta/Hanchett Avenue, Meridian Avenue, Race Street, and Sunol Street. By pulling the stop bar for vehicles back a few feet from the intersection, and painting a green waiting area for bicycles at the head of the queue, these safety features provide a safe space for bicyclists to get out ahead of waiting traffic or position themselves for a safe left turn.
- Another San José first, a two-stage left-turn box for bicyclists, has been installed at the intersection of Park and Bird Avenue/Montgomery Street.
A bike box at the intersection of Sunol Street and Park Avenue. Photo credit Shiloh Ballard.
These safety elements combine to offer bicyclists a smooth and comfortable riding experience while conveying clear and predictable movements to drivers. Pedestrians also enjoy the safety benefit of crosswalks that are more visible thanks to the new bike boxes.
As with any new infrastructure, bicyclists and drivers may need time to become comfortable moving in and around the new safety features. The videos below, from the cities of Bellingham, WA and Edmonton, Canada, offer some helpful guidance on using bike boxes. Please note, though San José’s bike boxes function in the same way as those in the videos, there are some aesthetic differences. The videos also describe some features not included in the Park Avenue project.