An exciting new trend in bike-commuting infrastructure recently emerged in Bend.
The bike lane at the intersection of US Hwy 20 and Mt. Washington has been colored with bright green strips! The colored strips, which were put in on October 30, are meant to make vehicular traffic more aware of cyclists, according to officials at the Oregon Department of Transportation.
“Bicycle commutes are on the increase, ODOT recognizes that, and we’re looking to incorporate bike commuters with the rest of traffic,” said Peter Murphy, ODOT’s public information officer.
So far, the green bike lane near the Riverhouse is the only one of it’s kind in Bend. But, come spring, ODOT plans on adding a similar feature to the bike lane on Greenwood Ave./US Hwy 20 and 8th St., near the Pilot Butte Drive-In. Instead of strips ODOT will color the bike lanes a solid green color, much like some of the lanes you may have seen in Portland.
Apparently it’s not just green paint on those strips, but a thermoplastic material with an anti-skid treatment. Which is expensive. Which is why ODOT is holding off on the second bike lane modification—they want to see how the test piece holds up during winter operations. ODOT is hoping they can use a cheaper method on the bike lane at 8th St., and one that they can install themselves, rather than hire an outside firm as they did at Mt. Washington.
ODOT officials said that they picked 8th St. and Mt. Washington because both spots have been areas of “bikes and cars in conflict.” Hopefully the green lanes will make all road users more aware and thus safer. We hope to see more of these green lanes on other busy Bend bike lanes.
This is good news for Central Oregon bike commuters and drivers. Everybody stays safe and everyone is happy. Win-win!
Here's what the green bike lanes at 8th St. intersection will look like: