Top transportation officials from across the country, including Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, will headline today’s national kickoff in Indianapolis of an intensive two-year program to build better bike lanes in U.S. cities. The program, the PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project, will work with Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Seattle to help them build protected bike lanes to create low-stress streets and more vibrant communities. The six cities were chosen in March from more than 100 U.S. cities that submitted letters of interest for the program.
Launched in 2012, the Green Lane Project works with U.S. cities to speed the installation of protected bike lanes around the country. These on-street lanes are separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts to help organize the street and make riding a bike an appealing option for people of all ages and abilities.
“In the past two years, the number of protected bike lanes on the ground across the country has nearly doubled,” said Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes Vice President of Local Innovation. “Leading U.S. cities have realized that improving bicycling translates into improving their communities: making the roads safer for all users, attracting new businesses and top talent and encouraging physical activity.”
“Improving bicycle and pedestrian safety is a top priority for the Department, especially as more and more Americans are choosing these options for getting to work, school and other places,” said Secretary Foxx. “The Obama Administration is committed to cost-effective projects like these that will mean improved transportation choices, increased safety and a better quality of life for people in these six cities.”
The selected cities will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance from the Green Lane Project in building protected bike lanes, valued at more than $250,000.
Atlanta's work on better bike infrastructure has just begun, but its plans are ambitious. A robust network of protected bike lanes will link downtown to the popular Beltline Trail. With strong leadership from Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta has 15 protected lane projects in the works, using a wide array of public/private partnerships to speed project delivery. Coca-Cola is planning a protected lane in front of its headquarters and is supporting the construction of new lanes to link to a second downtown location with 2,000 employees recently relocated from the suburbs.
With its 113,000 university students, compact urban form, robust but jam-packed public transit system and its even more crowded freeways, Boston biking has already made rapid leaps in the last few years with relatively small investments. Two high-visibility, high-impact downtown projects are in the works that will change the way Bostonians and visitors experience the city, whether they ride a bike or not. Coupled with the successful Hubway bike share system, the Connect Historic Boston project will be a national showcase for protected bike lanes.
One of the nation's most physically active cities, Denver has the bones of a good bike network in its off-road paths but little on-street bike infrastructure of quality. Now, as the central city booms, business leaders in the Downtown Denver Partnership see better bike accommodations as a part of a smart economic development strategy. The group is working with the City and County of Denver to develop a master plan for protected lanes that will make Denver a model for other growing Western cities.
The success of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which is a national model for public-private partnership to create a revitalizing landmark destination, has inspired an ambitious list of further projects. Mayor Greg Ballard, who sees bike infrastructure investments as an economic growth strategy, is among the most bike friendly leaders in the country. His advocacy and the Cultural Trail's popularity have created broad community recognition of great bike infrastructure's benefits.
This city has the winters of Minneapolis, the hills of San Francisco, the narrow streets of Boston, and the long-term population and tax base decline of other rust belt cities. Yet it is poised to succeed on bikes in spite of its challenges. Mayor Bill Peduto is bold, ambitious and has publicly committed to Pittsburgh’s first protected lane projects with strong support from many local business and community leaders. This fall, Pittsburgh will be the epicenter of protected bike lane information when it hosts the ProWalk/ProBike conference. Bikes are an integral part of Pittsburgh’s inspiring resurgence.
Seattle’s newly adopted Bicycle Master Plan is a national model of what it takes to build a bike network for all ages and abilities, with sophisticated network planning that uses protected lanes as the tool for busy streets that are essential to the network. The ambitious multi-modal redesign of Broadway combines a two-way protected bike lane with streetcar and storm water management along a booming commercial corridor. Amazon is moving a significant portion of its operations into downtown Seattle and is building a protected lane at its front door.
The Green Lane Project will provide updates on the progress in the six cities, best practices as they are developed and an inventory of protected bike lanes on the ground and planned in U.S. cities at greenlaneproject.org. Other interested cities are invited to use the website to share their plans and progress on building better bike lanes. To learn more, visit greenlaneproject.org or signup to receive the Green Lane Project weekly news.
About the Green Lane Project
The Green Lane Project is a program of the nonprofit PeopleForBikes, a movement to unite millions of people to improve bicycling in America. The Project helps cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. It is focused on protected bike lanes, which are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts.
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