New Date! Spring St. Green Bike Lane Material Testing

Spring St. bike lanes

Spring St. green bike lane on the day of its grand opening

UPDATE: Testing is now tentatively scheduled for the weekend of April 1st.

UPDATE: The testing scheduled for this weekend has been postponed due to the weather forecast. We’ll let you know more details on rescheduling as soon as we have them. Thanks!


The Spring Street buffered green bike lane represents a major step forward for bicycling infrastructure in Los Angeles. The bike lane and its green pavement, along with the 4′ painted buffer alongside it, provide bicyclists with enhanced visual separation from motor vehicle travel lanes. Spring St. is truly a complete street, serving bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users, as well as motorists.

Bikeway Engineer Intern Luan Nguyen

Bikeway Engineer taking preliminary measurements for Spring St. material testing

An On-going Experiment

When the Department first looked at doing green bike lanes, we reached out to our colleagues from a number of cities including Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, New York City, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Long Beach, CA to find out what their greening experiences have been like. In response to concerns expressed on this blog and others, we first and foremost wanted to make sure that the material we used would not induce traction loss when wet. Another important concern has been the durability and long term sustainability of the colorization.

Inclement weather at the time of installation made retouching necessary almost immediately and many of these same segments have had additional paint adhesion problems, especially where the bike lane surface is concrete. Many studies have shown that paint and thermoplastic have difficulty properly adhering to concrete surfaces.

These kinds of issues are exactly why the Spring St. bike lane is a pilot program; it gives us an opportunity to pinpoint problem areas so that future bike lane colorization projects can go off without a hitch. These minor set backs are a valuable learning experience for the Department as we continue to optimize colorization techniques for our city’s unique roadways.

Green Material Testing

Green Material Testing

Material Testing

On February 12, 2012 04/01/2012 (weather permitting), LADOT will begin a test of materials along the most weatherized segments of the green bike lane. Testing will occur along three blocks; 5th St. to 6th St., 6th St. to 7th St., and Aliso St. to Temple St. We will be testing a variety of materials and application technologies to identify the best combination/s for our roadways.

The above chart shows the various materials – paint, concrete stain, thermoplastic – that will be tested along the affected Spring St. bike lane segments. Each block – except for Aliso to Temple – will have five equally spaced segments of each test material; Street Bond Coating, Behr Epoxy Paint, Flint Hot Tape, Behr Concrete Stain, Street Bond Concrete Stain, and Pattern Paving Coating. On the Aliso to Temple segment, the Department will be testing the durability of two different paint products. LADOT will also be testing Flint Hot Tape – the same material used along merging areas and bus zones on the First St. green bike lane project in Boyle Heights.

LADOT will be monitoring the segments for signs of wear to determine the best application for future green bike lane projects in the City of Los Angeles. Please be mindful of the cones and avoid driving on the coned off segments on the day of installation. Entry and exit from buildings will be restricted from 1AM – 4PM. More information on these restrictions can be found at the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s website.

0 replies
  1. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Here’s a hand typed partial link (your website does not allow me to include the entire link) with the w w w and the dot p d f at the end of the link missing so that I can post it. I also had to space the dots out to get it accepted on this website.

    airporttech . tc . faa . gov/safety/downloads/tn08-22

    This is a long term study done by the FAA and DOT of thermoplastic applications at Newark Airport.

    On page 28, under conclusion, it states that the thermoplastic that was applied with adhesive had the longest lasting result on Portland Cement.

  2. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Fehr and Peers investigated the use of colored bike lanes for the town of Laytonville. Three types of color treatments are reported on page 116 of this pdf from Caltrans:

    LADOT bikeways may want to look into having street services dye the asphalt green for bike lanes on future street resurfacings. This would lower the costs of installation and maintenance considerably.

  3. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Metro requires a wider right side lane to keep the buses away from parked car doors and to prevent hitting a bicyclists head. Why doesn’t LADOT make a proposal to Metro for taking some of that space away by putting in a buffer area between the bike lane and the bus lane much like the Spring St. bike lane.

    This will create some traffic calming by narrowing the travel lane and increasing the comfort level of bicyclists as the motorized traffic will be further away. It will also create a space between the buses and the bikes so that the risk of a bus mirror hitting the cyclists would be very low. Increasing the comfort of cycling will also tend to attract cyclists off of the sidewalk and that will in turn increase the comfort level of the pedestrians.

    Allowing some of the traffic lane space to be used as a buffer will also make it easier to put in a bike lane on many streets and in many instances this could accomodate a bike lane installation without taking out a travel lane.

  4. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Checking the manufacturers website for the upcoming Spring St. tests I noticed:

    Behr concrete stain takes 72 hours to dry enough for automotive tires to travel on. Recoat after 2-4 hours if necessary for a uniform stain. It also may become slippery when wet.

    Street Bond concrete stain I could not find on the manufacturers website. It must be a new product.

    Also, looking through the agendas for City Council Transportation Committee meetings since January of 2008 I found 36 requests for speed increases in the San Fernando Valley and only 2 elsewhere.

    So, if the intent for putting in bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley is to get people to ride on them, then LADOT should also try to slow the overall speed of motorized traffic to make it comfortable enough for humans to ride a bicycle in the bike lane. A way to do this is Psychological traffic calming. Narrowing the drivers sense of the width of the road by putting a buffer and greening the bike lane. Also, by narrowing the right lane by putting in a buffer should enable LADOT to convince Metro to accept a less wide right lane as I mentioned in a previous post.

    If LADOT could get street services to incorporate a green dye for bike lanes when streets are resurfaced, then that would provide lower overall installation and maintenance costs. If street services does not have the equipment to do a dyed asphalt bike lane when resurfacing, then please mention to them that the Netherlands uses a separate paver for the bike lanes and it could be worthwhile for them to look into obtaining this equipment.

    Calming the streets would also lower the citizen demands for the Police Department to spend time trying to keep the overall speeds from becoming excessive.

    Traffic calming would also lower the expense of having to replace the speed limit signs.

    The injury to pedestrians and cyclists from motorized vehicle collisons would be lessened if the overall traffic speed was reduced.

  5. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Another suggestion would be for cities in Southern California to pool their resources and buy a specialized bike lane paver that would enable dyed asphalt to be applied when resurfacing. There could also be a private company that could buy the equipment and then bring it to various cities when requested. This is the way it is done for the repaving in the Netherlands:

    Or, LA street services could buy a machine to do put in dyed asphalt for a bike lane and then rent it out to other cities within the county. Certainly, Santa Monica and Long Beach would likely show some interest in utilizing equipment that can do this. Applying a coating to the street is likely to have a life span of 5 years or less, compared to ten years or more with dyeing.

  6. Karl Brown
    Karl Brown says:

    Is it true that this road planning assumed some streetcars that currently don’t have access to the roads even if rubber tired entirel yprivate? In that the space, some of it, recovered, was not initially intendedto be exclusivel yfor just cdars and ‘buses’?

    I also think this is a poor labratory, and the poorest choicesfrom prior testin g should not be imposed buteachtimethevery best that canbetrieid should be installed.

    Eachtiemi yougob ack it’s an opportunity to have it paintedover.

    I also find it so odd that street parking remains with the loss of anintgerior lane insteade of it. Street parking serves so few- i realise deliveries etc. will be hard if yo ucan’t park on thecurb, but special vehicles that are ver ynarrow or able to climbup and park othe curb long enougbhtodrop offgoods make sense, andthereis analley for someoftghebuildingsaswellthatthe trash gtets pickedupfromandgood couldbedroppedoffvia?

    Slippery when wet issues deserve debate. I oppose enabling such hazardoous high pressure narrow tired bikes when theyare no longerneededa s wide lowe presure or notslippable tires canbe augmented with clean powertrains that use the road more efficeintly as well but hav e an open mind and used to mock mountain style bikes as deterring use. Thecity bike,the green lane vehicle, has great acceleration notn just roughroad dependent upon brakes. I especially object to hogging users, slow etc. arguing incompatiblilty with electric etc.bikes.

    Isupporrt a wider agerange then only hujman powered rules impose, b ut the greeen lane can’t support elderly too slow to handle decentspeeds sole users of vehicles onit if it’ too handle enogh capacity to really get people to maybeygive upthe entiore roadto there use asthey should.

    You are to lead, not follow, youare our expertsw, it’s not present user so fbikes advocating, it’s you who must at least speak the truth i fnot make kidonly, flat frequently, tranistional, equipement, welcomeas wwell.

    The implimentation should liv e up toit’s promises.

    I thin kthat means slippery

    when wet

    but not ifpropery tired/powered.

    with say antilcok equiped bikes are encouraged.

    and springi s straight.

    the horizontal wipouts are not an issue the the straighttraffic.

    justhavepeople leavfethe green lane farbeforethey do osharp turns

    a curb entry inthge middle fohte b lock sounds greatforthat infact.

    yes antilock brakes beign requird on 700’s makes great sense for city use.

    people would leanrto brfeak sooner.

    and not get run over for lsoing traction w hichis inevitrable onthse bikes whose low rollingresistance encouragesspeedsthey cant’s safely stop in evenif brake equiped.

    so slippy may actual lybea safer

    especially duringtheportino ofhte path that sudeen brakingishteproblem for!

    (my premise is the implied issuethat rough surfaces are hardser to attach andkeep clean)

    Is the cost currently so high that led’s embedded would be cheaper? If so shame on you!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] green bike lanes pop up in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and in New York City. The Los Angeles Spring Street green lane is one example despite the paint fading away during our rainy season. It’s still considered […]

  2. […] unique roadways. For more information about the materials that we will be testing, check out our previous post here. We would like to remind everyone to please be mindful of the cones and to avoid driving on the […]

  3. […] unique roadways. For more information about the materials that we will be testing, check out our previous post here. We would like to remind everyone to please be mindful of the cones and to avoid driving on the […]

  4. […] it had become quite clear in recent days that the color-testing LADOT had promised us to ensure the green paint would last for more than a few days was not going to happen anytime soon. […]

  5. […] …And This Time, It’s Staying Green! (LADOT Bike Blog) […]

  6. […] the weather did delay LADOT’s planned green bike lane material testing. We’ll be sure to update you here on the LADOT Bike Blog with the revised schedule as soon as we […]

  7. […] the weather did delay LADOT’s planned green bike lane material testing. We’ll be sure to update you here on the LADOT Bike Blog with the revised schedule as soon as […]

  8. […] According to the LADOT bike blog, some of the roadworthy materials the city will eventually be testing are paint, concrete stain and thermoplastic. They will be looking for signs of durability and for a material that wont turn slippery when wet. […]

  9. […] Taken from: Spring St. Green Bike Lane Material Testing (Postponed!) […]

  10. […] tour. Gary writes about exception bike writer and advocate Elly Blue. LADOT is testing surfaces for the Spring Street green bike lane to find one that will stick around for awhile. Better Bike looks at the laws governing cycling in […]

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