Earlier this week, Memphis was one of six U.S. cities honored by the Bikes Belong Foundation as participants in the “Green Lane Project.” The six cities were chosen from more than 42 metro-areas applicants for their commitment to developing protected bicycle lanes, or on-street bicycle lanes protected from automobile traffic by a physical buffer. Protected, on-street bikeways have – for decades – defined cities large and small in Denmark and the Netherlands. But in America, where traffic engineers are bound largely to the auto-centric design standards outlined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), there is little technical guidance for and few domestic examples of protected bikeways.
That is, until now. For the cities selected to participate in the Green Lane Project, engineers and city officials will work as a national leadership team to develop best practices for protected bikeway design in America. This work of patenting new street design will provide a notable degree of comfort for traffic engineers and city officials across the country, due in part to a subsidized fact finding trip for city engineers, Mayors and other officials that will allow them to analyze protected bikeways in Denmark and the Netherlands. The Green Lane Project is, for this reason, an initiative with tremendous national significance for progress towards complete streets, livable communities, and sustainable development.
So yes: the Green Lane Project is a big deal. But for the City of Memphis, being named among this elite cohort of cities is especially significant.
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