n. A traffic light intersection feature that creates a designated area for bicycles to stop in front of cars when the light is red.
Located at the entrance of the intersection, a bike box is a demarcated area that straddles the bike lane plus one or two vehicle lanes, and is basically designed to give cyclists a head start when the light turns green. Well-used in Europe, bike boxes can’t work without right-on-red restrictions. (For a schematic, see: http://bikingtoronto.com/2010-toronto-cycling-map-adds-bike-boxes/.)
A few days earlier, the Republican state representative from Whitewater had threatened legislation to ban the European-style, made-with-tape pavement markers the city has installed at the intersection where John Nolen Drive meets Williamson, Wilson and Blair streets. Nass denounced the "bike boxes" — intended to minimize conflict between drivers and bicyclists — as the product of Madison's anti-car culture.
Recently a car (not a taxi) drove the entire length of the bus/bike lane on Cheltenham Road, then stopped in the bike box by the traffic lights.
In bureaucratese, a bike box is also known as an advanced stop line.