Taking the Green Out of the Bike Lane

One of the unchallenged truths of the debate over the fate of the Spring Street Green Buffered Bike Lane is a claim from Film L.A. that it is really, really, super-duper, hard to edit out the green paint in post-production. For that reason, the green paint had to go.We decided to challenge that claim, and asked a reader familiar with film editing how hard it really would be.

The answer is in the above video. It took the editor all of about twenty seconds to remove the green.

In November of 2011, the City of Los Angeles painted a green buffered bike lane on Spring Street for nearly 1.5 miles. While cyclists and downtown residents were happy, Film L.A., a trade group representing the movie, television and commercial industry panned the lanes. The claim resurfaced this year as debate continues over whether to let the green paint in the lane fade out or whether to repaint it.
  • jberg_13

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • Okay, this is *#$%! GENIUS! Great work!!

  • awesome! let’s promote life in the real world and let the film industry take a few moments to correct what they don’t like instead of all the rest of us being placed in danger. move on film la, bikes are here to stay!

  • John Lloyd

    Brilliant! Now I’ll wait for Film LA’s next bs excuse for why they can’t film around bike lanes and the LA Times’s next credulous front page story on how bike lanes are destroying the film industry.

  • kevd

    Green is famous for being impossible to key out in post.
    Simply can’t be done.

    That’s why no one ever uses a green screen when they want to key in a fake background. Not every single weatherman in the world, and most VFX shoots.

    Oh wait – that is EXACTLY what they use.

  • Ramonchu


  • ubrayj02


    Nobody at the LA Times could be bothered to find out how easy it is to do this sort of wizardry? The amount of column inches they’ve dedicated to slagging the Spring St. lanes and there was no follow up with someone who does post production or editing?

    Do i blame the Tribune, the whole news industry, or just the editors at the Times for this stupid myth they have created?

  • Anonymous

    Considering that the paint looks–at least here–just like green screen, maybe we should paint the whole street and let them CGI in whatever they want.

  • Gee… Film LA, huh doesn’t like green lanes?.. Well, it’s THEIR problem. If Film LA doesn’t like it, let them shoot in another place! It’s really selfish of them to show such disregard of bicyclists’ safety.

    We need green bike lanes, and they must stay! Film LA would just have to deal with it. Because more Green lanes are coming to L.A.!!

  • Thank you for this! I use this lane nearly every day, and in the jumble of cars, buses, and yes, film crews, the green lane creates a much safer environment.

  • This article does not mention why Film L.A. wishes to promote the editing out bike lanes of their films in the first place.

  • Sometimes that’s justified. For instance, if they’re filming something set in the 1920’s. Of course, in that case, there are all sorts of other anachronistic features on the street to get rid of (like most of the names of businesses – should we prevent small businesses from opening up because they’re hard to edit out?)

  • jamse

    This blog should start posting clips or photos of painted bike lanes filmed in other cities. I know I’ve seen both NY and Vancouver bikes lanes on TV and was probably one of the few people who noticed it.


Huizar: It’s Time to Paint the Spring Street Green Bike Lane

Last Friday, Downtown and Eastside City Councilman Jose Huizar upped the ante in the debate over by introducing a motion demanding that LADOT repaint the Spring Street Green Buffered Bike Lane. The motion, introduced by Bill Rosendahl and Ed Reyes on his behalf because of Huizar’s physical absence on Friday, The lane was painted in […]