Foto Friday – Inexpensive Design Solutions with Big Visual Impact

i Aug 24th 4 Comments by

I often get many emails with specific examples on how other cities and regions around the country and world are designing solutions that ensure that traffic moves efficiently in a system that treats bicycle riders with dignity.I thought Fridays would be a good day to highlight some of these design solutions in order to give you an idea on how we can begin to visualize what San Diego could look like in the future.

One of the big problems in San Diego is the freeway-style ramps that have been designed to allow maximum efficiency to motor vehicles at the cost of bicycle, pedestrian and other vulnerable user’s lives. For example, trying to ride on Friars Road with the multiple on-ramps and off-ramps can feel humiliating given how little consideration has been made for the non-motorized populace. But the sort of changes needed to be made in order to transform our transportation network can come in a variety of different ways and the example below is an example of how paint can make a visually arresting difference.

This is what Stevens Creek Boulevard at I-280 in San Jose used to look like from aerial perspective.

Below is a street level view of how this on-ramp section used to look like.

Below is a street level view of how this on-ramp section used to look like.

Stevens Creek Boulevard at I-280. Image from Google Maps

While Hans Wangbichler was up in San Jose, he sent in the photo below of how paint can clearly demarcate where a rider should be expected. The paint also visually indicates to drivers to expect a rider riding across the on-ramp to continue on Stevens Creek Boulevard and the bright green color is arresting enough to alert drivers.

Stevens Creek Boulevard at I-280. Photo: Hans Wangbichler

Design solutions such as the working implementation above are an example of what is presented in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Guide. This treatment could be implemented on Pershing Drive where it crosses the ramp for I-5 and many other places around San Diego. This is the sort of solutions that San Diego should be working to implement in order to ensure that all residents can move around in a manner that is not simply efficient, but respectful of their choice.

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  • Zak

    I was up in Long beach today and rode a section of road that was a green lane/sharrow. The green paint really made a difference.

  • Everett

    I just got back from Portland, and I’ll prepare are write up (with photos) about their practices. We are just 20 years behind, but the difference is where they stopped giving ultimate deference to the auto. And at many/most/critical intersections they have provided paint, refuge or other modification (medians and more cycle-tracks) to shift the balance and say that bicycle riding is important here.

  • Timur

    these solutions are dirt cheap and such a great bang for the buck. If only we had the political will.

    In other news, bike the bay was a huge success and it was such a pleasure seeing you & Fred yesterday!

  • Bruce

    How quick and easy this could be placed along Pershing at the I-5 connectors and other areas. SMH.