Foto Friday: First Bike Boxes in San Diego County Spotted in National City

Bike Box at 18th and Mile of Cars in National City, San Diego County

Kudos to National City for installing the first bike boxes in San Diego County. The location of the bike box pictured is located at 18th and Miles of Cars (National City Boulevard), which is simply the nicest possible indication from National City on how they intend to move away from their car-centric past.

If you recall, the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) (that obscure state committee that prescribes “uniform standards and specifications for all official traffic control devices used in California”), previously said a big “no” to all things bike related, including bikes boxes, back in 2010.

It seems like the CTCDC is on the mend in allowing National City implement bike boxes on their city streets.

But what is a bike box?

A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during the red signal phase.

In the letter to the CTCDC, National City Traffic Engineer Stephen Manganiello wrote, in part (links and emphasis are ours):

As National City is proposing to add approximately 6.5 miles of Class II and Class III bicycle facilities to corridors that do not currently have designated bicycle facilities, drivers will need to adjust to an increase in bicycle activity. As such, improving bicyclist visibility to reduce the risk of bicycle-vehicular collisions is a high priority. These priorities are consistent with the goal of the National City Bicycle Master Plan to create a safe and comprehensive local and regionally connected bikeway network where bicycling is a viable travel choice for users of all abilities.

Bike boxes also improve the safety of road users in many ways, according to a research done by Portland State University.

We aren’t the only ones excited about bike boxes. On instagram, “mannyist” wrote:
“Big high five to #NationalCity! Give them credit because I thought a progressive corridor would have been the first to paint a bike box.”

“jusstiin__” wrote:

“They’ve been repainting streets all over and putting roads on diets. It’s great!”

Tony Valdiconza from National City wrote, “it still amazes me!”

There are seven total bike boxes installed in National City. The locations are:

Four years after San Francisco installed their first bike box, San Diego county finally has them. Let’s hope it doesn’t take four years for it to make its way to the city of San Diego!