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Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights and Downtown get LA’s first green bike lanes

If you made your way down 1st Street in Boyle Heights or Spring Street in downtown L.A. this weekend, it was hard to miss the bright green bike lanes that were installed late Friday night/ early Saturday morning.

The 1.6 miles of bike lanes recently painted on 1st Street from Boyle Avenue to Lorena St and a 1.5-mile section of Spring Street from Cesar Chavez to 9th were the first in Los Angeles to go green.

But the dashes and solid sections of green left some wondering a few things: why the green paint? Will every inch of the lanes be painted green?

Like L.A. Eco-Village blog and LADOT Bike Blog have been reporting, the green coloring is meant to draw attention to conflict areas and increase safety for motorists and bicyclists.

Although the majority of the Spring Street lane got a solid green thermoplastic coating, 1st Street was only colored at merging areas such as intersections, alleys and driveways to make motorists aware of the presence of cyclists. The green is dashed where bicycles, cars, and buses share space, for example, when approaching an intersection.

One of the goals listed in the city’s bike plan is for the green lanes to produce more consistent yielding behavior by motorists, something that has been successful in Portland. Colored bike lanes have also been seen in New York and Long Beach.

A rainy Sunday cancelled my plans to try out the spankin new lanes, which transportation officials say are skid- and slip-resistant. But a friend of mine got to try them out and had one complaint: the green made it harder to see cracks on the road, so be careful.

UPDATE: Watch this nice little raw video from LADOT's Bike Blog Flickr that shows one of our neighbors riding through green zones on 1st Street.

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