Back in September, we announced that green bike lanes would soon be coming to 1st Street in Boyle Heights. Today, we’d like to update you on some recent developments including a recent materials test that we conducted at a LADOT Maintenance Yard. For more pictures from the test (and some cool videos), check out our flickr stream here. More on the green bike lane project below the fold.
Testing the Product
Representatives from Flint Trading were on hand to demonstrate their green colorization product. The product is a thermoplastic material that comes in pieces (similar to the sharrows markings). To install, the product is heated, causing it to adhere and conform to the asphalt’s texture and shape. Following the installation, LADOT bikeways staff rode the newly greened strip on a bike. A big concern judging from comments on the blog and elsewhere has been about how slippery the green bike lane would be when wet. To simulate wet conditions, we poured some water on the strip to see if it was noticeably slipperier. From our experience, the colorization did not seem to cause a significant loss of traction when wet, but further testing may be warranted.
LADOT wants to ensure that the colorization will be durable (requiring minimal maintenance), color retentive, skid resistant, cost effective, and highly visible. We will be testing other materials (including paint) in the near future to determine their effectiveness.
We are also evaluating where the colorization should be applied. With a finite budget, it is important for us to determine what the most cost effective application (and maintenance) of the treatment would be. Should we only green conflict zones like intersections and driveways, or should we green the entire length of the bike lanes? Please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below. As always, your input is greatly appreciated.