Presidio Trust Experiments With Green Bike Lanes

3261479928_a25c4d5a84.jpgThe dashed treatment allows engineers to alternate different types of materials but Marshall said the green lanes would be solid where there are solid lines.
San Francisco's bike injunction has prevented the MTA from testing colored bike lanes on city streets but it's not stopping the Presidio Trust from doing its own experiment.

"Although the Presidio is not part of San Francisco it's surrounded by San Francisco and we want to be sure that we're adopting similar policies and similar kinds of treatments that cyclists would be used to seeing in the city," said Amy Marshall, a transportation engineer at the Presidio Trust.

Colored bike lanes, which give cyclists a visible right of way, have been shown to improve safety and provide a much smoother ride. Bicyclists in Europe have been riding on colored lanes for many years and cities around the Bay Area and California have done it too, leaping ahead of "progressive" San Francisco.  

On January 29th, a vendor filled in a dashed portion of the bike lane on Washington Boulevard near Harrison with a green aggregate base and glass beads for retroreflectivity and will soon experiment with thermoplastic.

Marshall said the Presidio Trust plans to implement bike path improvements over the next few years and it's possible colored bike lanes will be added at several locations. The Presidio currently has 3.6 miles of bike lanes and is adding more.

"As we develop more trails and bikeways we're anticipating getting more and more cyclists and we're also going to be filling out more buildings as time goes on so the possibility of conflict between vehicles and bicycles is going to increase in the future," said Marshall.

The Presidio was named a silver-level bike-friendly community by the American League of Bicyclists last year.

San Francisco plans to experiment with colored bike lanes once the injunction is lifted. The MTA had to get state and federal approval because colored bike lanes are considered "traffic control devices." The agency plans to install tests at several intersections but engineers are hoping to collect data on bicycle ridership first.  Let's hope our colored lanes are as bold as the ones in Portland and Copenhagen.

Flickr photo: sfbike