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How to navigate Pasadena's new bright green bike lanes

File: Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and other cyclists ride down Spring Street's green bike lane after a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
File: Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and other cyclists ride down Spring Street's green bike lane after a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Eric Richardson/blogdowntown

Pasadena's new bike lanes aren't just for show. They have a purpose: to better keep drivers and cyclists in their own lanes, according to Rich Dilluvio, the pedestrian and bicycle coordinator for Pasadena’s Complete Streets Division.

Dilluvio told KPCC Monday the bright green lanes are a "simple" and "creative" way to reduce the chance of collisions between cars and the city's growing number of cyclists. In the past, cyclists would find themselves in undefined bike lanes when they approached an intersection. 

"That's the area where bikes would either leave the bike lane or cars would have to make a right hand turn over the bike lane to get onto another street," Dilluvio said.

For cyclists, that's dangerous territory. 

The new green lanes aim to highlight the conflict area where cyclists and motorists are most likely to collide, Dilluvio said. The continuous green lanes alert both the cyclist and the motorist that there is going to be a conflict area ahead.

Commenting on the lane's flashy color, Dilluvio said, "The lane really designates that the cyclists do have an equal place on the roadway and that they belong in a particular zone.” 

Green lanes are becoming more popular around the United States, Dilluvio said, and Pasadena residents can expect more to come in the next year as the city allocates more funding to paint them. Boyle Heights and downtown Los Angeles also painted bike lanes green this year. 

But right now, the lanes are only in two locations in Pasadena. One, near the intersection of North Marengo Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, and the other along a stretch of South Marengo Avenue near downtown Pasadena.

Dilluvio said he hadn't received any complaints about the colored lanes, just questions from cyclists.

"Hopefully [the lanes] have only increased safety for the cyclists and lessened any type of conflict," Dilluvio said.

California law mandates that cars should stay at least three feet away from cyclists at all times.

"But we like to suggest four," Dilluvio said. 

KPCC also has a quiz for cyclists to take to see how much they know about their rights on the streets.