Leaving work the other night I shot up Main to circle around to Spring in order to see if anything was happening at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment. Turning on the Spring I immediately noticed a big bright neon green lane that I had never seen before. WTF? Soon I notice an “Approved Bike Lane Stencil” (i.e. an outline of a bike) on the green lane. Ha Ha, a bike lane.
Turns out that Spring Street is the site of a new 1.5 mile Spring Street bike lane. The things you don’t know about your city but can find out. Los Angeles has a 2010 Bicycle Plan which was approved by the City Council on March 1, 2011.
The plan‘s technical design handbook indicates:
Shared Lane Marking with Colored Pavement (section 9, page 118) Design Summary A standard “Shared Roadway Bicycle Marking” per CA MUTCD, is used in conjunction with colored pavement to indicate optimal lane position for bicyclists on an urban, multilane roadway with parallel on-street parking.
That night I had no idea as to how I am – as a car driver – supposed to engage with the neon green bike lane. Turns out the rules are the same: e.g., dashed lines are for a right turn merging area.