This week was an exciting one for bike infrastructure in the city of Pittsburgh. The first green bike lane was installed. I’ve been waiting for this for two years and it surpassed my expectations! (I am sure others, such as the city’s Bike Planner who brought the project about, waited for this moment much longer me.)
The road here used to be three lanes (left-turn only and two straight), but the right lane was rarely used because just after the next intersection it merges into the left lane. The lines for the green bike lane were painted late last fall, but I assume the green wasn’t laid then due to weather issues. As I passed through this area regularly on the bus, I noticed that there were some motorists who either ignored the solid line running along the side and down the middle of the lane or didn’t notice them. This lane did not have the bike symbol in it yet, so I motorists being a little confused here. However, in other parts of the city, I have often witnessed cars driving along in clearly designated bike lanes (meaning there are signs posted and the bike symbol painted in the road). Soon I hope to be able to report that motorists recognize they don’t belong where the green paint is, giving bikers a clearly recognized portion of the road.
One of the really neat things about this bike lane is that it stands out from quite a distance. I was initially skeptical when I heard it was going to be a green lane–I pictured a grass or forest green color–but this neon green is very eye catching.