Why Cyclists Love Green Bike Lanes

At the end of the day, it’s just paint. But green bike lanes and intersection treatments have a powerful appeal to cyclists, writes Dan Malouff at Beyond DC, because of what they say about streets:

Green paint on bike lanes and at intersections sends a strong message to motorists, says Dan Malouff. Image: ##http://beyonddc.com/log/?p=6195## BeyondDC##
Green paint on bike lanes and at intersections sends a strong message about what streets are for, says Dan Malouff. Image: ##http://beyonddc.com/log/?p=6195## BeyondDC##

The real reason cyclists love green-painted bike lanes so much is simple: They send the clearest-possible message that roads are not only for cars.

Despite a century of sharing roads, and despite the fact that people walked and biked in streets long before cars came along, there’s a strong mentality among entitled drivers that roads are for cars. A five-second Google search turns up plenty of examples.

Green-painted bike lanes accomplish what a white stripe next to the parking lane cannot. They proclaim loudly and clearly that streets are not merely sewers for car traffic, but fully multimodal public spaces. They send the message that drivers are welcome to use roads just like everyone else, but must not expect to have roads completely to themselves.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Peninsula Transportation Alternatives puts the controversy around San Francisco’s Google buses in context. ATLUrbanist, riffing off a Slate article, discusses how greater Atlanta’s unwalkable development harms people’s health. And Strong Towns says we need “schools on safe routes” more than safe routes to unwalkable schools.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Tampa Installs Its First Green Bike Lane

|
There are splashes of green appearing in downtown Tampa, as the city installs its first buffered bike lanes on Platt, Cleveland, and Brorein streets, complete with green intersections. The Platt Street redesign trimmed the one-way, three-lane road down to a two car lanes plus a buffered bike lane. (The bike lane on Cleveland will offer a travel option for cyclists heading in […]

U.S. DOT to Publish Its Own Manual on Protected Bike Lanes

|
Before the end of this year, the Federal Highway Administration will release its own guidance on designing protected bike lanes. The agency’s positions on bicycling infrastructure has matured in recent years. Until recently, U.S. DOT’s policy was simple adherence to outdated and stodgy manuals like AASHTO’s Green Book and FHWA’s own Manual on Uniform Traffic […]

Bike Boxes Stoke Motorist Resentment in Seattle

|
Changes to the street often have a way of irritating people who were accustomed to the way things used to be, but sometimes it’s surprising how seemingly minor changes can set off an angry response. In Seattle, the city’s installation of bike boxes — painted street markings that let cyclists advance to the front of […]