The Green Lane Project is a PeopleForBikes program helping cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. We focus on protected bike lanes, which are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars, or posts.
We work closely with leading U.S. cities to speed the installation of these lanes around the country. In the first two years of the project (2012 and 2013), we worked with Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Memphis, IL, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC. In March of 2014, we selected six new cities: Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Denver, CO, Indianapolis, IN, Pittsburgh, PA and Seattle, WA. The Project kicked off the collaboration with these six new cities with a gathering and press conference in Indianapolis.
Protected bike lanes are part of a connected system for biking around town, which is an essential ingredient of a great place to live and work. They are a simple tool to transform city streets into places where more people feel comfortable riding a bike, making it easier to get around, save money, and live an active life.
While protected bike lanes have worked well in places like Denmark and the Netherlands for many decades, they have only recently arrived on U.S. shores. Between 1874 and 2011, only 78 of these facilities were built nationwide. This number nearly doubled to 138 protected bike lanes within the first two years of the Green Lane Project. By mid-2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation had officially endorsed the designs and the count was up to 213. The number is expected to keep growing dramatically.
Protected bike lanes bring predictability and order to busy streets: drivers like knowing where to expect riders, and pedestrians report fewer bikes on the sidewalk. Protected lanes also add vitality and energy to the street, attracting new businesses and helping create a community people want to be in, not just move through. In New York City, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales after the construction of protected bike lanes on part of 9th Avenue, compared to only a 3% increase city-wide.
The Green Lane Project tells the story of protected lanes' successes, hosts hands-on workshops and study tours for city leaders, provides technical and strategic assistance, and delivers targeted grants designed to get protected bike lanes on the ground.
Top photo: Denver Transportation Director Crissy Fanganello, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard at a Green Lane Project event in 2014. Bottom: 15th Street NW, Washington DC.