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Local Voice: Bike Path Visibility

A reader's suggestion that we paint our bike lanes for increased visibility and safety

[editor's note:  Do you have an idea for the community?  Get the conversation going, submit it here.]

I just returned from Chicago where I noticed that the city bike path lanes are painted a bright lime green.

Many of the comments around the new bike path on Memorial Boulevard were centered around people being concerned with visibility of the path.

I suggest we use a similar approach and brightly color the paths for greater visibility and increased safety.

While there is no perfect solution with regards to the increased summer traffic, besides employing some patience behind the wheel, we can increase the visibility of these lanes to ensure that safety for both cyclists and motorists remains our number one priority.

What do you think? Would bright lime green bike lanes improve the path's visibility? 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

William F Horan January 25, 2013 at 04:00 PM
The solution available are wide ranging re time to deploy, cost and overall suitability to solve the issue. Yes, safety issue must be factored. Great idea to increased visibility of bikes and riders. We have recently designated the shared ROW and this is an overdue positive accomplishment. Still the bike & rider visibility must improve.. We must consider the Aquidneck Island environment and mitigating factors. Suggest some caution & further study as to paint on the road - certain paints actually decrease friction and many have a short life ( pigment stability). If you have ever painted a concrete foundation and later regretted it you can appreciate my pause. THE modulated road REFLECTION TO OTHER VEHICLES OPERATORS MUST BE considered. Perhaps a lower cost and much more timely to implement fix is the deployment of suitable REQUIRED clothing & helmets for ALL on road bike riders that provided both day and night time visibility enhancements.. The Bikes could also be painted to offer better both day and night time visibility. Start with iron on & detachable patches for BIKE clothing that reflects at night and stands out in day light. Also bike helmets. Yes, low cost modern"smart paint" & luminescence technologies - perhaps modern low power LED et al components. The solution is available technology, national Standards, regulation & individual responsibility. We would require a registration and annual tax on bikes and operators to pay for alternate socialist approaches.
William F Horan January 25, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Examples of wearable technology! http://www.gizmag.com/sporty-supaheroe-jacket/21613/ Sporty "Supahero" cycle jacket boasts "intelligent" sensors and dynamic LEDs When it comes to cycling apparel, it's right that style plays second fiddle to safety. But if high visibility can be achieved without making the ultimate sartorial sacrifice, so much the better. With its Sporty Supaheroe cycling jacket, the Utope Project aims to achieve just that - integrating 64 RGB LEDs into its stretchable, wearable circuit boards. And the inclusion of in-built sensors means the LED array can display a variety of patterns depending on circumstance. The Sport Supaheroe integrates 64 RGB LEDs into its stretchable, wearable circuit boards One mode, with white light on the jacket's front panels and red light to the red, is clear... The inclusion of sensors means the jacket LED array can display a variety of patterns & signals directional intent. Together, an integrated "acceleration sensor" and gyroscope track the cyclist's movement, conveying information for all to see on the jacket itself. Conceivably, this means that the jacket's rear panels could glow red under braking, or flash on one side if the cyclist moves sideways. The jacket is made of organic cotton with additional water-resistant layers that we gather do not sacrifice the jacket's breath-ability. It comes in a rather fetching creamy-beige sort of hue, with white webbing over the LED circuits on the upper arms and torso.
Dale Clark January 25, 2013 at 09:04 PM
It would make a hugh difference being illuminated on the roadways..
Bari Freeman January 26, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Thanks for raising the point about high-visibility colored bike lanes, Dani. The option was considered by RIDOT in the planning but has not yet been introduced. I just confirmed that the agency is proposing adding green-colored high friction pavement to the bike lane on Memorial Blvd at conflict points, such as intersections and the beach parking lot driveways. RIDOT did not propose longer stretches of the colored paint because the paint alone can be very slippery when wet. Making it "high friction" is still too costly for consideration for long stretches. I expect we'll discuss more about bike lane improvements as more lanes are planned and installed. It's so important for users of the lanes to share feedback.
kevin Bourne January 30, 2013 at 09:06 PM
why can't bikes have reflective paint on all painted parts?

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