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East Los Angeles bike lane about to go green -- with paint

September 23, 2011 | 10:46 am

A bicyclist rides in a bike lane painted with a green stripe as he shares a lane with motorist along Second Street in Belmont Shore area of Long Beach. Drivers have expressed confusion over the lane, saying it gets them stuck behind cyclists by putting them directly in the line of traffic. Cyclists disagree, saying the green stripe acknowledges their right to be on the road, makes them more visible and thus, protects them from accidents.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times) Transportation officials generally allow two colors of paint on Los Angeles streets –- white and yellow –- with only rare exceptions such as red to designate no-park curb zones and blue to mark handicap spots.

But it's a new day for the color green in L.A.

The city's Department of Transportation announced this month that workers would soon be painting a green stripe along an approximately 1.6-mile bike lane on 1st Street in East Los Angeles to help motorists avoid bicyclists and increase safety.

The pilot project follows models from other cities such as Portland, Ore., New York and Long Beach that use colored pavement to identify lanes for bicyclists.

While there are federal regulations that guide the “chromaticity coordinates” and “luminance factor” for the particular shade of green used, officials say the effort is relatively cheap and can be particularly helpful for bicyclists and motorists trying to navigate busy intersections.

Transportation department officials say the coloring will be skid- and slip-resistant, and they hope cyclists will not hesitate to use the new lanes.

“They’re very innovative,” said Allison Mannos of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which supports the project. “It raises a lot of attention to the part of the street cyclists are in.”

RELATED:

Long Beach makes way for bicycles

In trafic-choked L.A., a car lane is given to bikes

Bicyclist harassment outlawed by L.A. City Council

-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: A bicyclist rides in a bike lane painted with a green stripe as he shares a lane with motorists along 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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