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Iowa’s first permanent green bike lanes will be installed in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, September 25 at approximately 9:00 a.m. The lanes will be installed on 3rd Street SE, at the intersection of 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue. Cedar Rapids was the first to demo green bike lanes in June, painting a 50 square feet green section on 3rd Avenue. This full installation will mark Iowa’s first green bike lanes. The green bike lanes will be installed 50 feet leading into and out of the intersection on 3rd Street. The northbound and southbound bike lanes and parking lanes on 3rd Street will be temporarily blocked off approximately 100 feet before and after the 3rd Avenue intersection during the installation. Normal parking will be restored by end of day Friday.
Clearly marked bike lanes increase safety for drivers and cyclists. Green bike lanes are designated travel lanes for cyclists, and help call attention to intersections where a car and bike may conflict. Cars may move into the green bike lane when making a right-hand turn 50 feet from the intersection, when they are pulling into driveways, or when they are crossing the bike lane to park (after yielding to bikes).
The bright green paint clearly calls attention to areas where cyclists may be riding, and encourages drivers to use extra caution when making a right-hand turn. Two-thirds of all bike/car conflicts occur at intersections, where the green bike lanes call the most attention to drivers. Green lanes also help organize traffic on the road, and encourage bicyclists to position themselves more accurately as they travel across intersections.
The green paint is a durable liquid pavement marking that includes epoxy and Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) and includes anti-skid additives. This textured paint is the approved color by the Federal Highway Administration, and will not require maintenance for 4 – 5 years.
The project was a collaborative effort between the City of Cedar Rapids, the Linn County Public Health Department’s Community Transformation Grant, and BikeCR.
Cedar Rapids continues to make strides in creating a bicycle friendly community. Last July, City Council formally adopted the Complete Streets Policy, Complete Streets Design Standards, and Sidewalk Master Plan, ensuring multi-modal design elements are automatically considered on new street projects and encouraging designs that allow bike lanes or sidewalks. Additionally, 20 new bike racks will be installed throughout downtown and Newbo/Czech Village by the end of October. Cedar Rapids also became the second city in the state to install an in-street bike corral, which was installed downtown between Zins and the Lost Cuban. The corral can hold eight bikes without sacrificing a parking space for vehicles.
For more resources on green bike lanes, visit www.cityofcr.com/bikecr.