The plan was developed in partnership with the city of Vancouver, which maintains the highway through the city limits. WSDOT will be responsible for the upkeep of the paint. If the pilot proves successful, the department could mark other busy intersections in the future.
“We have to see what we get back from the pilot program,” Treece said. “Part of it is testing out materials; the other part is how we work with partner agencies and finding out where they may see a benefit for adding green paint.”
Painting bike lanes is not the only way to highlight cyclists in congested areas but it’s fairly common practice in cities like Bellingham, Seattle and Tacoma. The work on state Highway 501 is the first ever done by WSDOT. Clark County installed the only other local green bike lanes on Northeast Andresen Road south of Northeast 88th Street. The city of Vancouver hasn’t created any, but Sweeney said he likes the idea.
“I think the green bike lanes help make the biking facility safer for the people who bike, and it increases awareness for cyclists and for the people who drive,” he said.
Sweeney also said the city will re-examine the local bicycle network when the city updates its transportation plan. The latest draft was released in 2004 and the city government plans to release the next draft in 2017.