Portland bicycle lane and green bike box indicating a dangerous intersection.

Portland’s Green Bike Boxes

Green bike boxes attempt to improve bicycle safety at dangerous intersections, especially where cars are turning right through a bike lane while the bikes are going straight. Bicyclists might know this type of danger as being "right- hooked."

Green bike boxes attempt to improve bicycle safety at dangerous intersections, especially where cars are turning right through a bike lane and the bikes are going straight. Cyclists might know this type of danger has "right- hooked."

In 2007 Portland had 6 car bicycle collisions resulting in fatalities. After two cyclists died in October 2007 both as a result of getting right-hooked (when a car crosses the bike lane to turn right and strikes a cyclist), the city of Portland responded with the innovative "Green Bike Boxes." The box road marking instructs bikes to stop in front of cars which increases their visibility. The painted green bike lane in the intersection where cars turn right reminds bikes and drivers to look for each other.

According to Adams, a comprehensive evaluation of the bike boxes will be conducted by Portland State University's Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation. The outcome will provide recommendations for their future use, design and evaluation. "We feel that by experimenting with the Bicycle Boxes and Colored Bicycle Lanes," said Adams, "we have the potential to further the development of new standards for treatments that ensure bicyclists' safety, in Portland, and potentially other cities."

City of Portland Transportation Office Green Bike Box Press Release


Portland’s Blue Bike Lanes

Blue Bike Lanes Denote A Conflict Area
In An Experiment To Improve Bicycle Safety

Before the green bike boxes, trouble spots were marked with blue paint in the bike lane. As of spring 2009, the city still maintains the below page and information on the blue bike lane markings. However, on inspection, some previously blue bike lanes are now green while some bike routes are still marked with the Blue Bike Lane (for instance heading West toward the Hawthorne Bridge) to indicate an area that cars and bikes need to be extra alert to each other.

Blue Bike Lanes experimental attempt for roadway markings to warn cars and bicyclists of dangerous bike lane and car crossings.

Motorists may be unaware that it is illegal to drive and park in bicycle lanes. Even more critical, they are unaware of the need to yield to cyclists when crossing a bicycle lane to turn right or get into a right-turn only lane. The result of this is a relatively high level of conflicts in these areas--both in terms of crashes and "near misses."


Where are these blue lanes? They have been transitioned to Green Bike Lanes / Boxes.
This link will take you to the list and the City of Portland also provides images.