This seems to be the week for announcing the preliminaries appearing on the streets for some good green bike facilities in Los Angeles. Earlier, we showed off the preliminaries on the new green buffered bike lanes on Spring Street downtown. Today it’s the green… well almost green (think Bruce Banner) …preliminaries painted onto First Street in Boyle Heights.
Regular readers will recall that LAEV covered Boyle Heights’ First Street bike lanes, when they were initially striped in early September 2011. The city of L.A. Transportation Department (LADOT) website announced that the First Street lanes would be L.A.’s first green-colored bike lanes. LADOT later clarified that the green color wouldn’t be on every inch of the lanes, but would just emphasize conflict areas: driveways, alleys, merging areas, beginning of each block, etc.
Here’s a close-up of part of LADOT’s specifics (at least as of November 3rd) of where the green goes and doesn’t – click for pdf file of the overall striping plan:
As readers can see in the above schematic, showing the area from Cummings Street to St. Louis Street, there will be:
- green swaths (20 feet long) with white bicycle symbol – at the beginning of each block
- green swaths – at each driveway
- green dashes – at the end of each block, where cars merge into the bike lane to turn right (these areas are currently dashed white lines)
I think that making just the conflict areas green makes a lot of sense. There’s a cost to paint and just putting it down everywhere adds to the cost of a project, and to the long-run maintenance costs.
In some places in Europe, nearly every inch of all the bicycle rights-of-way are painted. In the United States, color is used a bit more sparingly. San Francisco uses green in merge areas and elsewhere, especially on Market Street. In Long Beach’s innovative protected bike lanes, green was used to highlight conflicts. If it’s good enough for bike-friendly Long Beach, then I think it’s probably good enough for that other big city in the county of Los Angeles.
Looking forward to riding the new greener First Street bike lanes!