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Green Bike Lanes Come To Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) On Wednesday, a test segment of Iowas first green bike lane was painted at the intersection of 3rd Street SE and 3rd Avenue SE.
The green lanes are meant to increase the visibility of cyclists in the downtown area. A version of the florescent green paint already exists in bike lanes in US cities like Chicago and New York. Marko Vojcanim, the Regional Sales Manager with ENNIS-Flint said the product placed in Cedar Rapids should last about four to five years.
According to cycling enthusiast, Nikki Northrop Davidson, its a great investment for the city. Nikkis career is based off of Cedar Rapids being a bike-friendly community. Just six months ago, the former Rockwell Collins employee started Bike 2 Work Consultants out of her home.
Im a consultant, and I speak with businesses and help them understand the benefits of their employees cycling to work. Those are health benefits, economic benefitsThe more awareness there is between cyclists and vehicles the better it is! Northrop Davidson said.
The green paint will not cover the whole lane. It will highlight areas near intersections, where cyclists are most likely to be hit.
An intersections is where you get about two-thirds of your bicycle, motor-vehicle related crashes, Brandon Whyte, The Multi-Modal Transportation Planner for the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Ron Griffith with the Bike CR Committee added, This year I believe we've had six cyclist-vehicle crashes within Cedar Rapids. There may be other crashes that dont get reported, Griffith said.
Nikki said she believes the green lanes will make people more comfortable overall with the bike to work concept.
"Its going to make it safer for people to ride on the streets. A lot of people will not bike to work because theyre not sure it is safe, she said.
The painting of the demonstration green square is just part of a larger initiative to make Cedar Rapids more bike friendly. By 2020 the city hopes to add another 50 miles of bike trails, lanes and other facilities.
With the comprehensive trails plan, theres actually 130 miles so quite a big number that were looking to add, Griffith said.
Cedar Rapids was also named a Bike Friendly Community in 2012 by the league of American bicyclists. The city has added more than 20 miles of bike lanes or bike trails since 2008
That gives Nikki's business quite a bit to ride on. And, right now, the city can't beat the price. The city gets to try out the site at no cost thanks to volunteers. Additional green bike lanes will be funded through a $10,000 community transformation grant the city secured for public health improvements with the support of the Linn County Public Health Department. The current square will allow the city to receive feedback and evaluate the material used before wide-spread implementation happens downtown.
You can bike once a week to work and that still helps the environment, it still helps your pocketbook, and it still helps your health mentally and physically, Nikki said.