Edmonton motorists and cyclists will soon have a new tool to help them share the road.

The city is preparing to install Edmonton’s first “bike box” – a large green-painted square with a white bicycle symbol – that’s meant to help make cyclists more visible at the intersection.

“It just makes the intersection better for everyone; for both cars and cyclists,” said Andrew Siggelkow with Transportation Services with the city.

“Cyclists making left turns can do so with a little more ease and more comfort, and motorists know where they’re going to go and what they’re supposed to do.”

The first bike box will be installed in September at the intersection of 116 Street and 87 Avenue.

“In time for back to school, we’ll have a bike box there as well as dedicated lanes on 116 Street by the University,” Siggelkow said.

When the intersection light turns red, motorists will be expected to stop behind the green painted square. Cyclists will move into the green bike box area – in front of the vehicle.

Right turns will be banned for both driver and cyclist when the intersection light is red.

When the intersection light turns green, cyclists will move first – followed by drivers.

“It puts you in front of the motorist, so the motorist can see you,” Siggelkow said.

It’s news that has Gregor and Melita Allan getting excited.

The brothers’ main mode of transportation is on two wheels.

“Nobody stops and in the University area, everybody is rushing,” said Melita.

“It’s very, very dangerous.”

Edmonton mother and cyclist Angela Dorval is also welcoming the bike box.

“People aren’t watching for bikes,” Dorval said.

“If I wasn’t watching, I think I would have been hit a few times.”

Dorval believes the bike boxes will help improve safety for cyclists.

“I think it’ll make a huge difference and hopefully it’ll get more people biking.”

The idea for the bike box isn’t new.

Siggelkow says they’ve been used in Europe for some time and throughout Canada – including in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary. He says the idea has only started catching on in Canada in the last few years.

The city plans on holding a promotional campaign that will include an educational video to bring awareness to the bike box.

Residents in the area of 116 Street and 87 Avenue will also receive letters describing how the bike box works.

With files from Susan Amerongen