Why is there a new green lane on the Detroit-Superior Bridge?

Updated: Nov. 2, 2017 at 12:39 PM EDT
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The green area is coarse for traction. (Source: WOIO)
The green area is coarse for traction. (Source: WOIO)
The green comes from grounded down pieces of recycled glass, glued to a surface. (Source: Bike...
The green comes from grounded down pieces of recycled glass, glued to a surface. (Source: Bike Cleveland)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - If you've driven on the Detroit-Superior Bridge on Wednesday or Thursday you may have seen a 20-foot test strip of a bright green bike lane installed.

It's just the beginning of a project organized by several agencies including the city of Cleveland Planning Department and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

"We've heard for years that cyclist have had some issues traversing this structure," said Jocelynn Clemings with NOACA. "So we took a look at what we could do to make things safer, improve things for cyclist and hopefully make it a place where people will want to bike."

The green "paint" isn't actually paint at all. The green comes from small pieces of recycled glass that are glued down to the bike lane giving it color and texture that feels like very coarse sandpaper.

The pieces of glass are ground down so they are not sharp.

The cost is being picked up by the city of Cleveland with a prices tag of $81,000 but the entire bike lane will not be painted with the Sherwin Williams product.

Instead, it's being used in strategic portions of the bridge where bikers need the extra traction to stop, or where they meet up with traffic patterns.

The vibrant green color will also call attention to drivers to pay attention in those areas for bikers.

"Green paint has become a standard worldwide to increase awareness and visibility of bicycle lanes," said Jason Kuhn, the communications manager for Bike Cleveland. "It bolsters the visual impact of the lane, and provides a clear reinforcement to the priority of cyclists in areas of potential conflict."

While this project focuses on the Detroit-Superior Bridge at this point, riders like Kuhn are hopeful this is just the beginning.

"We are excited to see this lane treatment in Cleveland, and hope to see it implemented beyond the bridge. The entire project will transform the bridge from a dangerous crossing to a preferred route for riders," said Kuhn.

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