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Bike update: Green bike lanes going in the Capitol Mall, deadline approaches for bike share program

Perhaps when the bike lanes on the Capitol Mall are green, pickup trucks like this one will be less likely to crowd them.

Sacramento will be a little more bike friendly by the end of the year, as the city plans to paint the bike lanes on part of the Capitol Mall green.

"The idea is to be a little more welcoming to bicycles as they are coming over the Tower Bridge and into town," said Ed Cox, the city’s bike and pedestrian coordinator.

The project will paint the already existing lanes between Fifth and Ninth Streets on the Capitol Mall green, with the white strip being done with a higher quality material than the paint currently being used.

Colored bike lanes have been common in Europe for many years and are growing in popularity in the U.S. Parts of New York City, Boston,  Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and Austin – just to name a few cities – have green bike lanes similar to the ones planned in Sacramento. Closer to home, the city of Bisbane, just south of San Francisco, has blue bike lanes.

In Portland, the city painted several strips of bike lanes blue in the late 90s, and published an study on the results in 1999. The study, which can be found online here, had mixed results. It concluded that after the lanes were painted, motorists looked for and yielded more frequently to cyclists, but that cyclists looked for cars less frequently and signaled less often.

The goal in Sacramento is to extend to project and paint the bike lanes from Third Street to the Tower Bridge by next year, assuming the city can get funding, Cox said.

"It’s sort of the front door to the city," Cox said. "It’s symbolic entry area, ‘Welcome to Sacramento’ kind of thing."

The council would have to approve the request, and the funding would come from Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

In other bike news, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District is gearing up to submit its proposal for a multi-jurisdictional bike share program to SACOG by an Aug. 19 deadline. The project would include 600 bikes and cover Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis, according to Chris Morfas , a legislative liaison with the district.

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