Six cities chosen for Green Lane Project
Six cities have been selected to join PeopleForBikes, a cycling advocacy group’s program to build better bicycling infrastructure. Since 2012, the Green Lane Project has helped cities build protected bike lanes by providing financial, strategic and technical assistance to local officials.
The six cities selected for 2014 are:
The six were chosen from more than 100 cities that submitted letters of interest in the program, according to project materials.
“It was extremely difficult to narrow down our selection to just six cities; we are seeing an upsurge of interest in accommodating bikes on busy city streets,” Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes vice president of local innovation said in a statement. “The selected cities have ambitious goals and a strong vision 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.”
Denver has 101 miles of marked on-street bike lanes, and nearly 50 miles more where the city encourages bicyclists to share lanes with cars, according to The Denver Post. The city hopes the construction of additional, protected bike lanes will further encourage cycle commuting.
Denver has plans to open its first protected lane this spring. Still in the design phase, the lane will likely have a curb and vertical barriers to separate cyclists from other traffic. Molly North, executive director of advocacy group BikeDenver told the paper creating a safer, more comfortable commute is key to attracting casual riders.
Pittsburgh plans to install five miles of protected bike lanes during its involvement with the Green Lane Project, according to The Pittsburgh Business Times. Mayor Bill Peduto told the paper no plans have yet been made as to where the lanes will be placed, but he expects the new protected lanes will make the streets safer for cyclists and cars alike. Pittsburgh currently has 70 miles of on-street bicycle lanes with 20 miles of riverfront trails, the mayor’s office reported.
By adding protected cycling lanes, a city can reduce bike, auto and pedestrian injuries by as much as 50 percent, according to PeopleForBikes. Additionally, protected bile bike lanes can provide an economic stimulus – in New York City, the 9th Ave corridor saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales after the construction of a protected bike lane, compared to a 3 percent increase city-wide. Most of the projects will be city funded, but grants are available through the program.
This phase of the Green Lane Project will kick off with a press conference in Indianapolis in late April.