Say Hello to Orange County’s First Green Bike Lanes
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.