In an ironic twist of fate, a spokesman for the Washington Department of Transportation almost got hit by a car while biking through an intersection that had recently been painted to be safer for cyclists.
In November, about a week after the department added some eye-catching green paint to the bike lanes, WSDOT spokesman Bart Treece and the city of Vancouver’s principal transportation planner, Patrick Sweeney, were shooting the “after” part of a “before and after” video to demonstrate how well the green bike lanes stood out.
Treece was pedaling along state Highway 501 when a car quickly zoomed up to him. As Treece approached an intersection, a dark BMW came alongside him and began to merge left into the turn lane. Just when it looked like the two were going to collide, the driver pulled to the right and stopped in the middle of the bike lane, only a few feet away from Treece.
“I like to think they helped,” Treece said. “Whether it was me or the paint … he stopped.”
WSDOT added green paint to the bike lanes on state Highway 501 at West Fourth Plain Boulevard and St. Francis Lane in west Vancouver as a pilot project to better study bicycle safety. In theory, the work will alert drivers to how bikes move through traffic. The paint itself will give cyclists extra grip.