UPDATE: Testing is now tentatively scheduled for the weekend of April 1st.
UPDATE: The testing scheduled for this weekend has been postponed due to the weather forecast. We’ll let you know more details on rescheduling as soon as we have them. Thanks!
The Spring Street buffered green bike lane represents a major step forward for bicycling infrastructure in Los Angeles. The bike lane and its green pavement, along with the 4′ painted buffer alongside it, provide bicyclists with enhanced visual separation from motor vehicle travel lanes. Spring St. is truly a complete street, serving bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users, as well as motorists.
An On-going Experiment
When the Department first looked at doing green bike lanes, we reached out to our colleagues from a number of cities including Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, New York City, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Long Beach, CA to find out what their greening experiences have been like. In response to concerns expressed on this blog and others, we first and foremost wanted to make sure that the material we used would not induce traction loss when wet. Another important concern has been the durability and long term sustainability of the colorization.
Inclement weather at the time of installation made retouching necessary almost immediately and many of these same segments have had additional paint adhesion problems, especially where the bike lane surface is concrete. Many studies have shown that paint and thermoplastic have difficulty properly adhering to concrete surfaces.
These kinds of issues are exactly why the Spring St. bike lane is a pilot program; it gives us an opportunity to pinpoint problem areas so that future bike lane colorization projects can go off without a hitch. These minor set backs are a valuable learning experience for the Department as we continue to optimize colorization techniques for our city’s unique roadways.
February 12, 2012 04/01/2012 (weather permitting), LADOT will begin a test of materials along the most weatherized segments of the green bike lane. Testing will occur along three blocks; 5th St. to 6th St., 6th St. to 7th St., and Aliso St. to Temple St. We will be testing a variety of materials and application technologies to identify the best combination/s for our roadways.
The above chart shows the various materials – paint, concrete stain, thermoplastic – that will be tested along the affected Spring St. bike lane segments. Each block – except for Aliso to Temple – will have five equally spaced segments of each test material; Street Bond Coating, Behr Epoxy Paint, Flint Hot Tape, Behr Concrete Stain, Street Bond Concrete Stain, and Pattern Paving Coating. On the Aliso to Temple segment, the Department will be testing the durability of two different paint products. LADOT will also be testing Flint Hot Tape – the same material used along merging areas and bus zones on the First St. green bike lane project in Boyle Heights.
LADOT will be monitoring the segments for signs of wear to determine the best application for future green bike lane projects in the City of Los Angeles. Please be mindful of the cones and avoid driving on the coned off segments on the day of installation. Entry and exit from buildings will be restricted from 1AM – 4PM. More information on these restrictions can be found at the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s website.