What are those green boxes painted on Simmons Street?

Olympia adds two new left turn devices for bicyclists  

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A year after it installed its first "bicycle box" lane, the City of Olympia added two new bicycle boxes on Simmons Street as a way to promote traffic safety.

Bicycle Box

Located between 4th and 5th Avenue the bicycle box lane is painted bright green; cyclists seeking to turn left are to wait until the traffic light turns green. The city defines these lanes as a space, “designated for cyclists at an intersection.”

In a press release, the city urged drivers to observe traffic safety by allowing cyclists to get in front of the car when crossing an intersection. In this way, incoming cars are able to see the cyclists in full view.

To observe safety guidelines, the city instructs drivers not to stop inside the green box when the traffic light turns red. Instead, drivers had to stop before they reach white line which indicates “wait here”. Drivers must also stop behind the bicycle box even when it is empty. If the light turns green, drivers may proceed as usual.

Bicycle lanes added, too

Aside from bicycle boxes, the city also installed bicycle lanes to provide a safe space for cyclists. These lanes are usually marked with solid white lines and a bike symbol. Some of the bike lanes are also separated from motor vehicles by two solid white lines with a diagonal cross.

The city also reminded drivers not to go beyond the motor lane, unless they are able to ensure that it is safe to do so.

To learn more about safety regulations, residents are also encouraged to read the Washington Driver Guide Map, especially page 3-11, which describes bicycle boxes in more detail.

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