Best Practices: New Green Bike Lane in Thousand Oaks

Photo: Aaron Bialick

L.A. Streetsblog has covered some of the “best practices” in bicycle and pedestrian planning in Long Beach and Santa Monica in an effort to expand the horizons of LADOT and local advocates. Apparently, the Ventura County city of Thousand Oaks needs to be added to the list.

In a recent visit, Streetsblog San Francisco editor Aaron Bialick noticed that his hometown is growing up and has some exciting new bike infrastructure of its own. Riding up to the intersection of Moorpark Road and Janss Road, Bialick noticed a new  green paint treatment on a bike lane at one of the city’s busiest intersections (pictured above.)

Kathy Lowrey, Thousand Oaks’ bicycle coordinator, explains the somewhat unique design.

The City of Thousand Oaks Bicycle Advisory Team recommended staff look into coloring existing bike lanes green throughout the City; so we knew we had the support of the local cycling community when we considered this location.  As part of the City’s Street Rehabilitation Program (which includes resurfacing and restriping various City streets) we were able to include “painting” the existing bike lane green in the striping contract.   Basically, we just filled it in with green thermoplastic (not paint).    By selecting this location we were able to make an already existing bike lane more noticeable without confusing drivers as to the purpose of the green paint.  And yes, as Aaron noted, it’s a very busy intersection!

So does it work? Bialick believes so. “The green treatment not only helps improve visibility for people on bikes to drivers,” he begins, “but when I used it, I felt it helped legitimize my place in the massive intersection.”

Although bicyclists are far fewer in number than in Santa Monica or Long Beach, the Ventura County city does have a more-than-functional network of bike lanes. The city ranked 38th on Bicycling Magazine’s list of top bike-friendly cities in the country this year.

About a year ago, Thousand Oaks also instituted a road diet on a major stretch of Avenida de los Arboles, adding bike lanes and calming traffic, though some neighbors were upset that planners also removed a stop sign in the process, because traffic was naturally slowed by the other changes made as part of the project.

For more on Thousand Oaks efforts to make the city bike friendly, visit their Bike Safe webpage.

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