/ Last Modified July 29, 2013

Pima County Tries New Bike Lane Markings

Green thermoplastic materials going in at seven spots where bikes, cars cross same lanes.

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The Pima County Department of Transportation is trying out a new style of bike lane at merge points, areas where cyclists and cars cross over the same lane, which are a potential hazard for bicyclists.

The county is installing green thermoplastic material that differs from paint, used because it has a longer lifespan.

Matt Zoll, Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program manager, said the county had used solid green lanes in the past. Now, the county is introducing new lanes that look more like a ladder, meaning the material is laid down in block form.

Zoll said the ladder style lanes cost about 50 percent less than solid lanes and are more eye-catching because the transition from green to dark creates a vibrating effect.

The county has installed the new lanes in seven locations and plans three more this year. The latest is on the northwest side, Zoll said.

“It's at northbound La Cholla at Magee, and it's where the bike lane has to merge leftward across a lane that turns into a kind of a right-turn-only lane," he said. "We also have another new one at the same intersection, but it's in a different direction. It's westbound as your are approaching the intersection.”

He said signs have been installed alerting motorists and bicyclist to the merging lanes.

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