Say Hello to Orange County’s First Green Bike Lanes

See the map Kris made on Google, ##https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z-lJchTIKkRE.kN7RRPt486OE&usp=sharing##here.##
See the map Kris made on Google, ##https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z-lJchTIKkRE.kN7RRPt486OE&usp=sharing##here.##

The City of Santa Ana has added painted bike lanes on four different streets throughout Santa Ana in the past two weeks. Prior, neither Santa Ana nor Orange County did not have one.

The first green paint-an area of about 20 feet- that was applied to a lane on July 27 on a northbound portion of the Bristol Street bike lane is at a major conflict point. Bicyclists riding this stretch have to negotiate with cars merging across the bike lane to enter to the In-N-Out Burger restaurant there. To the best of our knowledge, the Bristol Street lanes are the first green bike lanes in Orange County (if we’re wrong, let us know in the comments section).

“Our hope is that the presence of the green paint will reduce that behavior,” said Cory Wilkerson, Santa Ana’s active transportation coordinator, by email about motorists driving on or through the bike lane.

The Bristol Street lane’s green paint, a tool to make it clear to vehicles that it’s not for them, is welcome news since this road is notoriously wide– Bristol Street between West 17th Street and West Edinger Avenue widens to three car lanes each way, and is sometimes as wide as six car lanes each way.

Yet, when we went out to see the bike lane in action on August 4, almost a week since it had been painted, automobiles were still merging suddenly across the bike lane. At times, motorists would drive in the the bike lane as if it were a car lane. In addition, automobiles exiting a gas station on the corner of West Civic Center Drive and North Bristol Street were regularly crossing  the bike lane to enter onto Bristol Street.

The material used on the Bristol bike lane was given to the city for free so it can test it out. The paint  is, according to the manufacturer, durable enough to resist snowplow damage–so it ought to be able to stand up the the Santa Ana summer heat.

Three new bike lanes, all get the green treatment

City staff began work last week on striping a north-south bike lanes on North Harbor Boulevard and North New Hope Street, and east-west lanes on West First Street. On all three streets bright green paint was applied.

The North New Hope Street bike lanes on Santa Ana’s westside near the Garden Grove-Westminster border began work on August 3. The roughly one-mile stretch, between West Westminster Avenue and West Fifth Street, passes by Rosita Park, the Bao Quang Buddhist Temple, and Sahara Mobile Home Park.

When we went to check on August 4, the southbound lane was painted green throughout. The northbound bike lane wasn’t painted yet, but there was duct tape marking where green paint would go.

At New Hope Street, Harbor Boulevard and First Street, all the car lanes were narrowed to accommodate the bike lanes. The Harbor Boulevard bike lanes are a portion of the Harbor Mixed Use Transit Corridor Plan.

More green paint should hit the pavement soon in downtown Santa Ana, Wilkerson said. The city is looking to paint green Sharrows on Third Street, between North Lacy and Flower Streets.

A green stripe painted on the southbound bike lane on New Hope Street in Santa Ana.
A green stripe painted on the southbound bike lane on New Hope Street in Santa Ana.
An automobile driving over the northbound Bristol Street bike lane where a newly painted green strip was placed late last month. A line of cars leading into the adjacent In-N-Out Burger is a common sight at this location.
An automobile driving over the northbound Bristol Street bike lane where a newly painted green strip was placed late last month. A line of cars leading into the adjacent In-N-Out Burger is a common sight at this location.
A truck crossing the northbound Bristol Street bike lane where a newly painted green strip was placed late last month.
A truck crossing the northbound Bristol Street bike lane where a newly painted green strip was placed late last month.
A bicyclist riding southbound on the newly painted New Hope Street bike lane. The roughly one-mile bike lane stretches from West Westminster Avenue to West Fifth Street in Santa Ana.
A bicyclist riding southbound on the newly painted New Hope Street bike lane. The roughly one-mile bike lane stretches from West Westminster Avenue to West Fifth Street in Santa Ana.
A green stripe painted on the southbound bike lane on New Hope Street in Santa Ana.
A green stripe painted on the southbound bike lane on New Hope Street in Santa Ana.
  • Greg Frost

    Turns out paint isn’t enough to keep clueless drivers out of bike lanes. For a high-speed, high-volume road, physical separation is required.

    The good part of this is we’ll be able to find out how durable that paint is, and whether it would be a suitably robust treatment to use in lieu of pigmented asphalt.

  • PFT Future

    I think its great that the City is expanding their bike way system but calling these “green bike lanes” a bit of an oversell. This is green conflict striping at some points and then just kinda weird green blocks at some parts. They may want to review some of the best practices for that striping, while we are on striping they may want to review the striping plan in front of that In-n-Out. I really don’t think this will achieve their goal of trying to tell cars that this isn’t where they should be traveling, especially if you are then going to start using “green backed” sharrows. Sharrows are a class III enhancement to make people aware that bikes will be present and to share the lane with them.

  • Anonymous

    Please be sure to re-read your work before posting it online. A few awkward-sounding sentences and an incorrectly captioned photo made this article seem unprofessional.