Bikes Belong’s Green Lane Project has released its first resource, a guide that helps cities build support for innovative bike facilities by sharing key communications lessons learned by other U.S. cities. The 57-page guide, entitled “Explain Your Lane,” shows examples and best practices for communications and outreach that can be used before, during and after green lane projects.
“The way cities talk with their communities about green lane projects can play a big role in their success,” said Martha Roskowski, Green Lane Project director.
Green lanes are dedicated, inviting spaces for people on bikes in the roadway, protected from cars and separated from sidewalks. The goal of the Green Lane Project, launched in May this year, is to support six selected focus cities (Austin, Texas; Chicago; Memphis; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; and Washington, DC) in their efforts to develop and install these kinds of facilities.
“As green lanes are still very new to the U.S., cities are not only on a steep learning curve in terms of engineering and design, but also, in terms of building support in their communities for the projects,” continued Roskowski. “ ‘Explain Your Lane’ captures the best of what has been done to date by cities around the country so that we can all learn from each other to grow these types of facilities.”
“Explain Your Lane” takes readers from the infancy of a project – indentifying allies, raising awareness, benchmarking conditions, outreach and feedback – all the way to its completion – ribbon cuttings, documentation, evaluation – using case studies, infographics, photos, and FAQs.
“If Memphis had a tool like this two years ago, we could have avoided many of the problems that have delayed implementation of our first green lane,” said Memphis Bikeway/Pedestrian Coordinator Kyle Wagenshutz. “Going forward, this tool and the lessons we’ve learned since beginning this process, will be integral to helping us expedite green lane projects throughout the city.”
City Traffic Engineer for the Portland Bureau of Transportation Rob Burchfield said, “ ‘Explain Your Lane’ is an easy-to-use guide that gives practitioners common sense tips for launching their projects and communicating the benefits.”
Advisors to the Green Lane Project include the New York City Department of Transportation, the League of American Bicyclists and the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Sponsors include the SRAM Cycling Fund, Volkswagen of America, Inc, Interbike, Shimano, Taiwan Bicycle Exporters Association and the Bikes Belong Coalition.