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City Lays Green Pavement to Further Delineate Bike Lanes

Santa Clara is installing new green colored bicycle lanes on the eastbound and westbound sides of Stevens Creek Boulevard between Lawrence Expressway and Southbound Interstate 280 off-ramp/Calvert Drive. This project is partially funded by a Transportation Fund for Clean Air grant through the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). City crews will remove the existing striping and install the new striping at night (12 a.m. to 8 a.m.) starting Monday, April 30, 2012; work is expected to be completed by Tuesday, May 15.

Colored bicycle lanes on this portion of Stevens Creek Blvd. will be the first installation of green colorized bicycle lanes in Santa Clara County, and meets Federal and State standards. Colored bicycle lanes will help improve recognition and safety for bicyclists and motorists by improving visibility and awareness for roadway users in traffic merge and conflict areas. The green bicycle lanes will provide a clear area where bicyclists are expected to ride when traversing this area of Stevens Creek Blvd.

Striping of these new bicycle lanes will be similar to all the other normal non-colorized bicycle lanes found elsewhere in the City and County where motorists may cross or enter the bicycle lane at the points where the solid white bicycle lane lines become dashed white lines. Green lanes will include the solid or dashed white lines that motorists are familiar with; for all bicycle lanes, vehicles should not cross into a bike lane where the white line is solid, but can merge into and through a bike lane where the white line is dashed and it is safe to do so. The new green lanes will also be accompanied by new markings and symbols in the roadway informing motorists of the allowed movements in the westbound Stevens Creek curb lane.

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A number of experiments have been conducted in the United States (under the watch of the Federal Highway Association for the past 10 years) and in other countries around the world to determine the value and benefit of colorizing pavement color for preferential use by bicyclists and to enhance the conspicuousness of a bicycle lane.

Evaluation of installations in the cities of Chicago(IL), New York(NY), San Francisco(CA), Portland(OR), Long Beach(CA), Austin(TX), Minneapolis(MN), Philadelphia(PA), St. Petersburg(FL)Nashville(TN), Missoula(MT), and Golden(CO) where green colored pavement was used to designate a bike lane has been shown to provide a positive benefit, outlining where bicyclists are expected to operate, as well as reducing potential conflicts, and improving ease of identification of appropriate weave and crossing areas.

For more information, please contact the City of Santa Clara Traffic Engineer Dennis Ng at 408/615-3021.

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