Green Paint has arrived in the Washington region. Arlington, VA and Washington, DC have been coloring bike lanes green over the past few weeks. Green bike lanes increase a driver’s awareness of the presence of a bike lane and helps make the cyclist more visible to the driver.
The paint used to color the lanes is called “StreetBond CL“. New York City has been using the same green color treatment for the past few years. In fact, DDOT painted a test strip of green paint in a bike lane a few years ago on 15th St. SE to analyze it’s durability. The paint is designed to be low maintenance and anti-slip in all types pf weather. The mix both DC and Arlington are using has added grit to increase friction, especially when wet. Many other road and lane markings are very slippery when it’s rainy – this road treatment is not!
You won’t be seeing miles of green paint soon. Painting miles of lanes is expensive, requires on-going maintenance and doesn’t increase the overall safety for cyclists. Instead, DDOT has developed a striping policy for applying green paint to bike lanes. Their focus will be conflict zones (end of bike lanes, mixing zones with cycle tracks, etc), safe zones (bike boxes, floating bike lanes, etc) and at major intersections to guide bicyclists through them.
See the full list of bike lanes in Arlington County planned to be painted green (or have already been painted). DDOT will be painting lanes over the next few weeks and the highly anticipated L St cycle track (PDF) will include green paint (M St cycle track will have green paint in 2013). Officials expect the L St cycle track will be installed during the first few weeks of November. So, be on the look out for green paint in a bike lane near you!