MENOMONIE Wis. (WEAU)- Putting a box around safety. An area city hopes a unique intersection will help keep people safe.
Last month the city of Menomonie installed what it's calling a bike box, it’s an intersection designed to make crossing easier for bike riders.
“Usually cars stop for you but usually most of the time they don't,” UW-Stout student Shaun Peper said.
The 13th Ave. and Broadway St. intersection is one Peper crosses on his way to campus most days.
Sometimes he says he bikes, other times he walks but he says traffic there can be tough to get through.
“Sometimes and you know people running late for class so they are kind of darting out and there is traffic or they are just waiting and they'll be late for class,” Peper said.
Its situations like this that the city of Menomonie hopes will become safer with the addition of a bike box.
“The drivers will come and hopefully stop here where it says stop here on red and stop at the white line. The Bicyclists can come up the bike lane and they have a priority to get into the bike box and go straight ahead or take a left turn when the signal changes,” Menomonie Director of Public Works Randy Eide said.
Eide says the idea for the intersection came from a committee member who traveled overseas where bike boxes are much more popular.
“It's a pretty low cost design we're just trying something to improve pedestrian and bikership throughout the city,” Eide said.
While we were at the intersection in Menomonie, more than half of the drivers didn't stop in the right spot.
The city says it expects a learning curve in the first few months after installation but it hopes the intersection will help raise awareness of pedestrians on two wheels.
“I think especially with the amount of kids and students around town we’d be safer with more of the bike boxes,” Bicyclist Amber Evenson said.
“This is just one part of the puzzle in trying to improve how we handle pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the city.” Eide said.
The city says it’s hoping to get feedback from drivers and pedestrians on the new bike box. For more information on how you can submit feedback, follow the link below.