Bikes Belong’s Green Lane Project has selected six focus cities that will become national leaders in creating comfortable spaces for people on bikes over the next two years:
- Austin, Texas
- Chicago, Illinois
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Washington, D.C.
The Green Lane Project is leading the effort to catalyze the installation of world-class bicycling facilities in the U.S. ?We are seeing an explosion of interest in making bicycling stress-free on busy city streets,? said Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong president. ?The selected cities have ambitious goals and a vision for bicycling supported by their elected officials and communities. They are poised to get projects on the ground quickly and will serve as excellent examples for other interested cities.?
Project director Martha Roskowski said, ?We are delighted to be working with these forward-thinking cities. They are a range of sizes, spread across the country, and at various stages in terms of developing networks for bicycles. What they share is a strong commitment to rethinking how city streets are used and making room for bicycles.?
The six cities were chosen from a pool of 42 city applications. ?The response we received shows that not only established leaders such as Minneapolis and Boulder understand the role of bicycling in next-generation city transportation, but also places like Wichita, Miami, and Pittsburgh,? said Roskowski.
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. Also called cycle tracks or protected bikeways, the lanes are carefully engineered with rigorous attention to safety, efficiency, and ease of travel for all street users. The Green Lane Project will provide resources and technical assistance to help the six focus cities accomplish their goals of creating this type of protected space for people on bikes.
During the next two months, the Green Lane Project will work with elected officials, staff, and community groups in each city to finalize details, solidify the vision, and identify the unique story each city can tell. Details will be released at a national kickoff in late May in Chicago. The Green Lane website, greenlaneproject.org, will act as a hub where all U.S. cities working to install these types of facilities can share and learn from each other.
Based on decades of experience in Europe and a growing number of U.S. examples, cities are embracing new designs as cost-effective and quick ways to accommodate the demand for safer places to ride. Last year’s publication of a design guide produced by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) provides a toolbox for designers and engineers, showing how widely accepted road standards can be combined to transform city streets.
The Green Lane Project is an initiative of the Bikes Belong Foundation. Major partners include Volkswagen of America, Inc.; the SRAM Cycling Fund; Taiwan Bicycle Exporters Association; and NACTO. New York City’s Department of Transportation is a senior advisor to the program, based on their groundbreaking work in creating new public spaces on city streets.
The Green Lane Project is a relaunch and expansion of the Bikes Belong Foundation’s Bicycling Design Best Practices Program, which for the last two years has been dedicated to hosting workshops and taking city officials and engineers on study tours to leading U.S. and European cities to showcase the best in bicycling facility design. These workshops and study tours will now be a part of the Green Lane Project, in addition to the new programming and resources offered by the Project.