When riding a bicycle through Manhattan, me and a million other cyclists regularly performed this weird activity at a red light: Rather than stopping and putting your foot down, you snake your bike around in super-slow-motion between the waiting cars and the crosswalk--trying to keep up enough momentum to stay balanced, but not going so fast that you run out of room.
In Sweden, where things are more organized, they've got this thing:
Image credit: Ryder
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We already have larger versions of these in Denmark (which I believe are made in Poland or Sweden). They make a big difference when you have a load on your bike such as a child in a seat or cargo bags on both sides of the rear wheel. The longer "bench-like" design can be used by up to 3 cyclists, but usually the first cyclist who arrives at the stand takes up the who space by parking in the middle. So maybe 3 smaller stands are better than one big long rail. Either way, this is a really good idea as it also prevents pedestrians stepping out on the bike path to cut a shortcut across the road at a junction.
In discussing this same photo with some bike commuting design colleagues, we concluded that this object was likely placed here not to allow people this comfort, but to *prevent* them from performing the same maneuver using the pole in front (which would put much of the bike, in not the rider, into traffic)
Might be so as well, but it Actually helps you take off quicker when green. Making more people able to cross before its red again.