The wheels of progress never stop turning at SDOT, who managed to get some green gravely material down in a couple of locations this week after months of anticipation. We’ve posted about the green lanes before, it’s great to see they’re making their way into the real world. I rode down to take a look this morning, and I can confirm it’s really, really green.
My ride this morning showed that the schematic’s spot on (including the fact that the bike lane ceases to exist for the first half of the next block on Stone Way). The new lane is designed to help cyclists transition from the right hand edge of the road, across a lane of traffic into the proper spot (the new green wedge) to start from if you’re proceeding forward. The wedge serves pretty well here, clearly indicating where you should be.
The approach to the wedge is still a bit paltry. It’s a simple green dashed line crossing the existing lane of traffic. I was really expecting a full green lane that indicates the bike lane crosses traffic here, but that’s not to be apparently. No arrows, or other markings that I saw to indicate this is bike territory (but I could have missed something).
Also, the lane change is quite close to the intersection. Unfortunately this is one of the longest lights in Seattle and traffic tends to get backed up. I couldn’t actually ride the new marked changes because it was already underneath a car. I can imagine markings big and bold enough that cars wouldn’t stop on them.
The green of the wedge is made up of what seems to be tiny, green rocks glued down to the roadway. Think green pop-rocks and you’ve got the size and texture right. Definitely not slippery, which has been a complaint about roadway markings from cyclists in the past. I’m sure it’s very durable, but the top layer wasn’t entirely secured and now there are little green pop-rocks migrating around the intersection.
I’m all for facilities improvements, and good on SDOT for getting this done. I’d much rather see bike boxes and full on
blue green lanes that cross intersections. Maybe these will come in the next round of improvements.