Hennepin Avenue’s Green Lane got a fresh coat of pea soup a week or two ago, and my unscientific count shows a slight decrease in SOVs illegally driving through on it – from “everyone and their mother” to “everyone and their dog.”
I’m a fan of the controversial Hennepin and 1st conversion – the 1st Ave bike lane is nice (as long as you don’t have to turn left) and I’m comfortable with the idea of a bus-bike-right turn lane. I’m less comfortable with the reality of a bus-bike-right turn-through lane, which is less a bike facility and more a Kermit-looking regular lane. Actually more the width of Miss Piggy, there is plenty of room to go around cars that are waiting to turn right, but the problem is that half the cars are illegally going through, and of the cars that really are turning right, half of those aren’t signaling.
Why did Minneapolis have to reinvent the wheel on this one? St Paul has bus lanes downtown that are marked with a solid white dividing line, diamonds striped intermittently, and skip-dashing to indicate right turns are allowed. I’m not sure how well that works, but I can’t imagine anything working worse than Hennepin Ave’s lanes. I appreciate the splash of color on the pavement, but it seems like people respond better to the more widely-known diamond symbol – the very thing Minneapolis uses on the explanatory signs! (although according to the MN MUTCD the diamond is supposed to refer to HOV in general).
I’m a bit late commenting on this issue, but I wanted to give the lanes a chance. The striping clearly doesn’t work – SOVs treat the Green Lane like it’s just another lane. The green striping was actually as a Phase 2, and maybe there hasn’t been further evaluation.