Tag Archives: Advanced Stop Lines

Other Cyclists II: Bike Boxes

They’re known as Advanced Stop Lines (ASL), or bike boxes, and they found their way from Europe to North America a few years ago. My route between home and work has seen the introduction of bike boxes in two intersections in the past year or so. What a great idea. Here’s the theory behind them…

Research in various European cities has shown that this simple device makes cycling considerably safer and reduces conflict between cyclists and motorists. But, they have to be used correctly. For once, when it comes to cycling safety, I have to put the blame squarely on my fellow cyclists. In Toronto, they just ┬árefuse to use bike boxes. This is Spadina and Harbord, in theory…

Image by Wikipedia

This is Spadina and Harbord in practice…

Bike box

The white blob on the right is my T-shirt. I’m the only cyclist in the bike box. Every time.

What’s going on?

My fellow-cyclists of Toronto, dare I try to read your minds? Canadian to the core, no-one wants to look impolite, aggressive or pushy. No-one wants to look like they are trying to get off first at the lights. So what do we do? Line up as if there were no such thing as a bike box.