Cities across the country are remaking streets to help people move more quickly, more safely, and with less energy use while improving the quality of life in commercial districts and neighborhoods alike. One key strategy is making room for bicycles, as the density and compact character of cities makes riding a bike an incredibly effective transportation option. Leading cities are combining innovative new designs and traditional approaches to transform their streets.
The Green Lane Project is a new effort that will work closely with six U.S. cities to help them build world-class cycling networks on city streets. These will be cities that are poised to make significant progress over the next two years in installing cycle tracks and related improvements, which we’re calling Green Lanes. The Project will facilitate a partnership between the cities and provide them with resources and technical assistance, while expanding the knowledge base and sharing it widely.
Focus cities: The six focus cities were selected by the Green Lane Project team in early April 2012. These cities will have a plan or vision that is supported by elected officials, leading staff, and the community.
Emerging cities: The work of the focus cities will be shared through events and on-line communications to support the many other cities across the country that are also making room for people on bikes. The Project website will provide updates on progress in the six cities, best practices as they are developed, and links to other resources. All interested cities will be invited to share their plans and progress on the website as well.
Safer, cheaper, faster, smarter: The campaign will build on the expanding toolbox, which includes the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, models from European cities, and the growing body of U.S. experience in applying innovative approaches. Research elements will build the knowledge base about the safety of these innovative treatments, understanding how local businesses are affected, and quantify how many more people ride bikes when good networks are available. On a broader scale, the Project will further the understanding of the scale of improvements and the size of a network that is needed to create a significant change in how people travel. This information could prove invaluable in preparing for future scenarios which may involve significantly higher oil prices, with an accompanying need for communities to transform rapidly to a new transportation paradigm.
Goals: The campaign will set clear and achievable goals:
Partners: The project builds on the strong work of NACTO and its Urban Bikeway Design Guide and a host of other agencies and organizations that have been advancing these ideas. The project is an initiative of the Bikes Belong Foundation, and is providing a strong focus for the organization’s grants, research, communications, and workshops and study tours. Core funding is provided by Volkswagen of America, SRAM Cycling Fund, Taiwan Bicycle Exporters Association, and the Bikes Belong Foundation. Vital additional foundation and corporate support is actively being recruited.
For more information, contact Green Lane Project Director Martha Roskowski.
A Green Lane is more than just paint on the pavement.
A Green Lane is a statement about how we experience our communities.
Green lanes are next-generation bikeways being built on streets across the country, from San Francisco to New York City, from Minneapolis to Miami and from Long Beach to Pittsburgh. Green Lanes are dedicated, inviting spaces for people on bikes in the roadway. They are protected from motor vehicles by curbs, planters, posts, or parked cars. They are separated from sidewalks. Some are painted green. The lanes are carefully engineered with rigorous attention to safety, efficiency and ease of travel for all street users.
A Green Lane is a name for a growing family of modern bikeways — inspired by decades of experience in European cities and adapted to meet the unique needs of American streets.
Green Lanes go by many different names. Sometimes they’re called cycle tracks. Other terms used are protected bike lanes, traffic-separated bike lanes and buffered bike lanes. There are many variations in design and function, but these facilities share a common purpose — to offer convenient, comfortable, and safe places for people from ages 8 to 80 to travel by bike.
A Green Lane is a visible reminder of a city’s commitment to make its streets safer and more accessible for everyone.
A Green Lane is a leap forward in bicycle transportation, designed to meet the evolving needs of American cities. Green Lanes benefit everyone who uses the streets: people in cars and on foot know where to expect bicycles. More people on bikes eases congestion. When people ride bikes, they are healthier, and they save money.
A Green Lane network, combined with traditional bike lanes and paths and other street improvements such as bike boxes, bicycle-specific traffic signals, and bike sharing systems,are integral to a truly multi-modal city where people enjoy a variety of ways to get around. These cities attract the talented residents, innovative businesses and enthusiastic visitors that support a vibrant economy.
Green Lanes are not just color on the street. They are paths to better cities.