The City of Eugene painted Eugene’s first green bike lane heading Westbound at the intersection of Roosevelt Blvd. and Maple St. on February 18th. This is the area where the bike lane crosses Maple St. heading West and then joins a bike path that runs parallel to Roosevelt Blvd. It is a complicated area for both cyclists and drivers, and thus has a high risk of the dreaded “Right-Hook” or “Right-Cross.”
This is Eugene’s second painted bike lane. The other is painted blue and located on River Road heading North as it crosses the Beltline on-ramp.
Curious as to why this bike lane was the chosen location for the first green bike lane, WeBikeEugene contacted the City of Eugene’s Bicycle and Pedestrian coordinator, Lee Shoemaker.
Here is his response: (emphasis mine)
The green bike lane was installed yesterday at the intersection of Roosevelt and Maple as part of the Maple Street and Elmira Road improvements. This is the second colored bike lane installed in Eugene. The other is on River Road at Beltine but it is colored blue which used to be the standard color in the U.S. Green is the standard color for use in bike lanes and blue [is used for] markings for people with disabilities.
Colored bike lanes are used to highlight conflict areas where motorists are crossing bike lanes. Studies have shown that significantly more motorists yielded to bicyclists and slowed or stopped before entering the blue pavement area [at Beltline] and more bicyclists followed the colored bike lane path.
When we are designing roadway projects we look for opportunities to make pedestrian and bicycle improvements along with enhancing the roadway for motor vehicles. There are a lot of turning motor vehicles at this intersection and we wanted to highlight the bike lane for safety. The colored bike lane came out of the project funding.
We don’t have a list of colored bike lane projects or funding to install them but during the development of the Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan is the best way to have a discussion with the public about where they should be added. We will also consider other locations for installation when we design other infrastructure projects.
It is nice to see that the City of Eugene is considering bicycle safety when planning road improvement projects. There are many dangerous right-hook intersections in Eugene and Springfield, and this intersection doesn’t particularly stand out as one that warranted special attention. It is for this reason that the installation of the colored bike lane as part of a standard road improvement project is so special. The colored bike lane benefits both cyclists and motorists, and will hopefully become standard in future road improvements.
Pictures borrowed from “City of Eugene Transportation Planning” Facebook page.