Experimental lane caters to drivers and cyclists

Posted: 4:48 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013

Source: KTVU.com


Experimental Green Lane

A stretch of green roadway that extends less than a mile down 40th street near the Macarthur BART Station has some drivers confused.

Many told KTVU they weren’t sure what the roadway was for or who it’s for.

“I don’t know what to do,” said Dove Thompson of Oakland.

This motorist mystery is actually an experiment that started in September.  The five-foot wide green stripe simply designates that the lane is open to both bicycles and automobiles.

Many cyclists say they like it because it gives them more room than the more typical narrow bike lane.

“The problem with that, as a cyclist, you are constantly in a car’s blind spot when you are to the right or left of a car. So the idea is on a busy thorough like this you are out in the middle of traffic,” said Cameron Stephens.

Some cyclists say they’re staying out of that green lane and prefer to ride towards the right side of the road.

But we found some cyclists are staying out of the green lane, preferring to ride toward the right side of the road.  Some drivers’ say they’ll avoid driving in the lane altogether even though they have every legal right to be there

“I just stay out of it. Seems to me logically you can’t go into it,” said Roy Ottens, who says he regularly drives along 40th street.

A handful of other cities across the country are also experimenting with sharing lanes, including Long Beach and Salt Lake City.

Oakland officials tell us 40th Street was chosen because the nearby MacArthur BART station attracts a high number of passengers who bring bikes on board.

“I hope the lane will increase awareness that bikes really need a whole lane,” says cyclist Emma Dobbins.

Oakland and California officials are still looking at how successful the green lane is, if it works more green lanes could pop up sometime next year.