A new concept is being considered for the Spring Street Green Bike Lane. This redesign will retain crucial portions of the original solid green lane while still addressing the core concerns voiced by the film industry that uses Spring Street for shoots. To begin, the current color of the paint will be converted to the same forest green color being used in New York. This new version of paint should still provide a contrast between designated spaces for bicyclists and motor vehicles while interfering less with filming.
The redesign will also reduce the overall amount of green material used on the lane to 10% of the current design. Instead of being a solid green bike lane, a four-inch green stripe will border the four-inch white stripe marking the outer edges of the lane. The bicycle lane will still have the original two foot striped white buffer on the outer edge of the lane. Merging zones near intersections will retain more green paint to further emphasize where drivers making lane changes should be most alert for bicyclists. These changes outlined above will occur between 3rd and 9th Street, while Spring Street from Cesar Chavez to 3rd Street is set to retain its current solid green lane. This motion approved by the City Council further outlines the final design specifications.
While this means that the Spring Street bicycle lane will no longer be the same solid green design that LADOT began the pilot program with, this new design may provide a more cost-effective yet beneficial way of drawing attention to the lane with color. By being more selective about how much and where special treatments are used on a street, funding is saved that may be allotted towards future bicycle projects on additional streets. The green paint will be concentrated on areas around intersections where it is most likely to be effective at preventing accidents.
At this point LADOT engineers will further develop and finalize the new Spring Street design concept described above. Next, the design will undergo review by the California Traffic and Control Devices Committee (CTCDC). This review will occur at the CTCDC’s July 25th meeting in Napa, CA where the committee may offer input and recommendations for improving the design. While the use of green material on streets in California is approved by Caltrans and the Federal Highway Association, the Spring Street design proposes a unique experiment by lining the bike lane stripes with an additional 4 inch green stripe. This portion of the design is considered experimental by the CTCDC and will therefore require special approval.
The green lane pilot program continues to evolve as LADOT explores what design will work best for Spring Street’s unique qualities and how this design may be applicable to other streets and future bicycle project in Los Angeles. Already, through previous testing we have seen the results of different paving materials in terms of durability and effectiveness on our mixture of concrete and asphalt streets. Moving forward, LADOT is developing criteria for where and which type of streets green pavement materials will be most effective. While LADOT continues to implement the 2010 Bike Plan we will work with community stakeholders and residents to ensure that bikeways and lane markings are placed and designed in a manner that best meets community members’ needs. For future updates on when you can expect to see these new changes on Spring Street and on other bicycle projects going on in the city, be sure to check back on the LADOT Bike Blog.