"Don't block the box"

Greg Roberts groberts at ANSWERLOGIC.COM
Wed Nov 29 18:19:47 UTC 2000

Similar signs are in Washington, DC.  From my own experience, the expression
is used solely in the context described.

Greg Roberts

<Frank Abate>
The expression "Don't block the box" is used in New York City as a warning
to motorists to avoid entering a busy intersection that they cannot get
through before the light changes to red.  The city warns, on signs and on
the radio, that there will be severe penalties if one is ticketed for this.
At some intersections, "the box" is marked off with white lines painted in
that area.  The idea is to prevent gridlock, a particular problem in NYC,
esp. during the holiday season.

Is this expression used in other US cities?  Is "the box" in the sense of
'intersection' used in expressions aside from this context?
</Frank Abate>

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