Not that easy

A funny way to turn right

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.

The wheel

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.

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7 comments on “Not that easy

  1. Bill says:

    pea soup kermit!

  2. mulad says:

    Most other places seem to use a combination of a white line plus green paint (or sealcoat or whatever). In Seattle, it sounds like they mostly only use green paint in and near intersections, and often use dashed white lines in combination with that.

    • I’d be into a full green lane, but I don’t really care what is tried next as long as they try something. My guess is they’ve moved on and aren’t paying attention.

      What I don’t want to hear is that they can’t afford to paint the whole lane green – not when they are building streets a third too wide.

      • Rosa says:

        White line with dots where you’re allowed to cross it is a symbol drivers all know already, I’m not sure you can really improve on that.

  3. […] is the simple, functional way they handle the with-flow bike and bus lanes.  Why mess around with experimental markings when drivers already know to stay away from a solid line with a diamond symbol? In the […]

  4. […] If you want to ride a bike in Downtown, there’s a map for that.  If you want to catch a bus in Downtown, there’s a map for that too.  But what if you’re not sure yet if you want to bus or bike?  Wouldn’t it be useful to compare the streets where specialized facilities are dedicated to these modes (or pretendicated, in the case of Hennepin’s Green Lanes)? […]

  5. […] paying attention to what was behind them as well as what was in front of them. Even the pathetic green lanes are better than that, and the 1st Ave protected lanes are mostly much […]

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