What do you do when you see Newmarket’s new bike box pavement markings?
Nov. 15, 2022
You may have noticed new pavement markings depicting a bicycle inside a green box at the intersection of Prospect St. and Water St./Gorham St. Installed in October as part of York Region’s Bayview Ave/Prospect St. resurfacing project, the markings may have you wondering what to do as a cyclist and as a driver. John Kazilis, manager, Transportation Development Planning, The Regional Municipality of York, answered these questions to provide clarity.
WHAT SHOULD DRIVERS DO WHEN THEY SEE THESE BIKE BOX PAVEMENT MARKINGS?
When approaching a bike box, drivers should stop at the white stop bar before the green bike box and leave the space open for cyclists; this way, cyclists will be able to wait in the bike box and will be more visible to drivers at the intersection.
Drivers should also let any cyclists waiting in the bike box go first when the traffic signal turns green.
As a reminder, the speed limit has also been reduced along Bayview Ave./Prospect St. from 50 km/hour to 40 km/hour between Mulock Dr. and Davis Dr. Reducing the speed limit provides consistency and a safer operating environment for cyclists
WHAT SHOULD CYCLISTS DO?
When cyclists approach a bike box, they should move into the green bike box and wait for the green light before moving through the intersection. This allows cyclists to safely position themselves in front of vehicles at stops.
Once the traffic signal turns green, any cyclists in the bike box can continue through the intersection before the drivers who are queued behind them.
HOW MANY OF THESE MARKINGS ARE CURRENTLY IN NEWMARKET?
Currently, these specific pavement markings are found only in this location in Newmarket.
The markings ensure York Region’s cycling improvements enhance cyclist safety and increase visibility, especially at the most critical conflict points along the road.
York Region reviews corridors individually and assesses the needs given the context of the area.
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THE END RESULT WILL BE FROM INSTALLING THESE MARKINGS?
Green bike boxes are a tool to enhance cyclists’ safety and increase visibility of cyclists at critical conflict zones like high-volume intersections.
These pavement markings are also intended to give cyclists priority, so they do not have to fit between or beside larger and faster vehicles trying to turn at the intersection. The bike boxes also help make left turns at intersections safer.
The new cycling improvements along Prospect St./Bayview Ave. provide connectivity to the Town of Newmarket’s east-west bikeway and the future Mulock Dr. multi-use pathway.York Region continues to plan and build out the Region’s active transportation network and increase alternative transportation options for residents.