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Thursday, June 21, 2012
Pilot project brings new bike-related pavement markings to Ada County roads

Green-colored bike lanes and shared lane markings— they are new to Ada County roadways and will have bicyclists and cars sharing the road with more awareness.

Ada County Highway District (ACHD) crews are painting the new bike markings on select roadways in Boise, Meridian and Eagle as part of a pilot program that aims to promote awareness and increase safety for bicyclists and motorists. The new bike-related markings are recommendations from ACHD’s Roadways to Bikeways Master Plan which was adopted in 2009 and guides investments in Ada County’s bicycle system.

"Drivers and cyclists are going to notice the new symbols and green markings painted on roadways that, in many cases, are already heavily used by cyclists. The lane markings will put bicyclists in a safer place on the roadway and will help alert motorists to the presence of bicyclists," said Matt Edmond, ACHD Senior Transportation Planner.

Shared lane markings, also called sharrows are pavement markings within existing travel lanes — they combine directional arrows with a bike symbol and are painted in center of the lane, requiring vehicles to drive over them (see photo). The markings help motorists and bicyclists share the road more safely on streets without bike lanes by telling bicyclists where to ride and reminding vehicles to expect bikes in the travel lane. Shared lane markings also direct bicyclists away from parked vehicles, reducing the chance of being struck by an opening door.

Eight road sections will receive the shared lane markings as part of the pilot program. Roads selected include those without designated bike lanes and roads known to carry bike traffic. Already, shared lane markings have been added on Bannock Street between 1st and 6th streets (near St. Luke’s Hospital) and on Bannock between 13th and 16th streets, 8th Street between the Greenbelt and Broad Street in BoDo, and the popular bike route of 13th Street through Boise’s Hyde Park.
Green-colored bike lanes will be painted in 17 locations on road segments where turning and merging vehicles have the highest chance of conflicting with a bicyclist. A section of bike lane will be painted green to alert drivers of the possibility of cyclists in the area in locations where a vehicle may be making a turn. The locations selected for green bike lanes are those where drivers are turning and bicyclists may be present. The green pavement markings call attention to these potential conflict areas, said Edmond.

Green-colored bike lanes will be painted in the weeks ahead, while some will be installed later this summer on roads planned for a chipseal or an asphalt overlay.

ACHD will monitor the new pavement markings to determine use and effectiveness as well as durability and upkeep. For a full list of locations planned for green bike lanes and shared lane markings, and how-to-use information, click here.  

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