Green with envy: Brooklyn’s new high-visibility bike lane

[Updated 4:09pm]

From the McBrooklyn Blog in NYC (via Streetsblog) comes a photo of a new, “high-visibility bike lane” just installed in Brooklyn:

Now that looks safe.
(Photo from McBrooklyn)

Turns out that New York City transportation advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has solid-colored bike lanes on their list of recommended measures to improve bike lane safety..and it seems to be working.

Here’s an excerpt from McBrooklyn:

“While a car did drive into the bike lane, it quickly — “Oops!” — swerved back out again.”

And here’s a :30 second video on the green bike lane from Clarence Eckerson:

Hottest Day of the Year Ride

Blue bike lanes in Portland.
(File photo)

Why not give this a try in Portland?

The costs would be minimal and our little segments of blue bike lanes already work this way — they send a clear message that a cyclist may at any moment be using that part of the road.

Can you imagine the infamous “hotel zone” bike lane on SW Broadway suddenly going green?

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Matthew
Matthew
15 years ago

I might be in a disagreeable mood right now, or something, but my first though was no…

My problem is that while it does clearly send the message that that is the bike lane, the bikes that go by every few minutes should send that message too… The people that block/door the hotel lanes just don\’t care, I doubt that painting them green/blue/whatever, would stop them any more than the current design. I\’d much rather see a different physical arrangement of the street for Broadway…

And if it did actually work: What about all the bike lanes out in east Portland that see a bike once every half hour or so… Will drivers look at those lanes, (which won\’t be green/blue/whatever,) and go, \”huh, these ones aren\’t blue, so I guess I can use them?\”

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
15 years ago

I hope there is some sort of \”non-slip\” agent mixed into that paint as painted road surfaces tend to be very slippery in the rain.

Martha S.
Martha S.
15 years ago

Personally I agree that reconfiguring the street to make the bike lane safer is a better option by far and large, though the painted lanes can be handy in problem areas. Though Matthew has a point; I think any time a lane is painted in should be accompanied by a warning to be cautious of bicycle traffic.

felix
15 years ago

Its just an elevated level of bike terror, it will turn back after the election.

Tbird
Tbird
15 years ago

I think it\’s a great step in the right direction.
Just look at the East side of the Hawthorne Bridge. Almost all auto traffic yields to bikers crossing here. There are the random motorists that either ignore it or don\’t realize it\’s there, but by and large it works. I think a RED or ORANGE color would work best though, the blue or green tend to be out of the realm which the American mind associates with caution.

\'jefe
\'jefe
15 years ago

Does anyone know if Portland\’s Blue Bike Lane Program is still in effect? I notice several that are in dire need of repainting. In addition, what steps could we take in order to further this program? I for one would love to see the cyclist entrance to the west side of the Hawthorne bridge get a paint job! There are several close-encounters at this location and a visual might reduce the number of vehicles trying to \”roll through\” or \”nose out\” into traffic.

DK
15 years ago

Seems to be too many options out there already, and PDX…bike city USA…seems not to have any of these alternative designs. Shouldn\’t we be alittle farther ahead of the pack on this one?

Coyote
Coyote
15 years ago

If it was part of the paving I would be all for it. At least then it would be somewhat durable.

Street paint is just more toxic crap that is headed for the river. This is just more paint.

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
15 years ago

I agree, the blue parts of the bike lane here should be CAUTION YELLOW.

Mr. Viddy
15 years ago

Paint = Slick, crash in rain. PDX does get some rain eh? On Hall Blvd. in Beaverton there is blue paint on the bike lane, when wet it is extremely slippery.

Nice sentiment in painting a bike lane but for god\’s sake, research it first. No fun sliding from the bike lane into traffic.

rixtir
rixtir
15 years ago

There are several close-encounters at this location

What kind?

\\\'jefe
\\\'jefe
15 years ago

Sorry. I was referring to vehicle/cyclist encounters and I thought that could be inferred.

Christopher Cotrell
Christopher Cotrell
15 years ago

I think it\’s a fantastic idea, but echo the sentiment that it should be done in the paving, not in paint. This would take a long time to implement, of course, but once done it would last a long time.

In Amsterdam most of the bike lanes are red. What\’s really great about this is when there\’s a bike path through a park or other area where motorized vehicles are not allowed: it identifies the through route for bicycles where pedestrians dare not wander, and would be really great if we ever get any separated paths built here. If people learn that bike lanes are a certain colour, they will stay out of areas with that colour whenever they\’re not on a bike.

Randy
Randy
15 years ago

A waste of paint and it may not be eco. Better to make Hawthorne Blvd a bike only street.

Doug
Doug
15 years ago

There are several close-encounters at this location

What kind?

My guess would be the third kind.

anonymous
anonymous
15 years ago

Report all needed maintenance to line markings to (503)823-SAFE.
Actually any maintenance to city assets can be referred to this number.

DK
15 years ago

The stripes on Hawthorne seperating peds from bikes (west bd) is freakin\’ scary when wet. Then add to it that wonderful r-turn at the bus stop…geez! who came up with that material choice…***moderated***?

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

One of the biggest benefits for this is that it slows traffic by \”narrowing\” the roadway for drivers. You can see \”bird\’s eye\” photos of this at http://maps.live.com/ by going to the intersection of Henry St & Amity St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

James
James
15 years ago

Mr. Viddy (#10),

I know exactly where you\’re talking about and that patch is downright (downhill…?) dangerous.

But the Hawthorne crossing is also a very dangerous spot (Tbird, #5). I\’ve been forced to head south there on a couple occasions (at great personal risk, I should add) because blue is not an effective color. It doesn\’t say \”Hey wake up. This is a bike crossing and you have to yield!!!\” I don\’t know who was behind that or what they were thinking, but that is a bad idea.

Painted bike lanes… Cool? Sure.

Effective?

Not really.

Dangerous?

Duh.

Thumbs down.

Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com

I believe there is a way to make the colored pavement treatment built-in to the pavement, rather than an overlay applied (i.e. \”paint\”, which is actually a plastic thermo-coating) to the surface of the pavement. Colored pavement treatments, since it is the pavement itself that is colored, last significantly longer and should not have any detrimental effect on traction, even in wet weather.

It was my understanding that colored pavement was actually in use at the Hawthorne bridge approach — is this not the case?

I think the discussion of the proper color is valid. One color should be picked and standardized. Blue and green both seem rather… background. Yellow and red seem more appropriate. I like red because of the link to Amsterdam and \”pay attention now\” mental associations.

hatty
15 years ago

I just moved here from Brooklyn, NY and I was a volunteer for T.A. While I applaud TA\’s efforts, I can honestly say that at least in Brooklyn, it\’s not that drivers and police vehicles don\’t recognize bike lanes, it\’s that they just don\’t care… Sad to say, but might the same be true in Portland?

Javen
Javen
15 years ago

I\’d like to think that this makes cycling safer, but I think at the same time while making the bike lane more visible, it trains the mind the ignore the bright patch. In those really crucial spots where cyclists and cars frequently collide, the city has chosen to paint a section of bike lane royal blue. By minimizing the use of this blue, it alerts drivers that bikes are crossing there and to be alert there.

By painting the bike lanes everywhere, they might be slightly more effective at alerting cars that bikes are there, but the value of the blue sections of bike lanes will greatly lose visual importance, and drivers will ignore cyclists in crucial spots.

It\’s a great idea, but I would want to see some stats on how it affects existing blue sections before it\’s put into place. It also needs to be slip-free.

Another concern I have is that painting bike lanes green would mask broken glass. Glass is highly visible against a black background, but against a glossy green coating, it might be difficult to see until it\’s too late. However, dark rocks might become more visible on the green bike lane. Nonetheless, glass is a greater contributor to flats. I\’m cautious about this change.

Javen
Javen
15 years ago

Having green bike lanes might also train the mind to not expect cyclists when there isn\’t a strip of green on the side of the road. Some streets might not get painted green. Some streets might not have bike lanes, but sharrows or no bike markings, instead. On these streets, cars will be less likely to look for cyclists than if none of the streets are painted with green. Without painting strips in intersections, as well, cars would be more likely to turn onto a cyclist because there isn\’t a straight bike lane through the intersection. We cannot equate bike lane with a green paint. Because as soon as people equate bike lanes with paint, they will equate no green paint with no bike lanes and no cyclists.

Paul Cone
Paul Cone
15 years ago

DK,

I was right with you until I got to \”fat ass\”. There is no room for those comments here (Jonathan?). The people who work on our streets work as hard as anyone so let\’s be supportive of them as they work to figure out new methods for making our rides better.

Paul

jeff
jeff
15 years ago

I know this has been brought up before – while road paint tends to be really slippery when wet, the markings here (like the east side of the Broadway bridge) are different as it\’s some sort of epoxy, not paint. If anything, it\’s more tacky. Seriously, try one when it\’s raining.