Green bike lanes in Orlando to help drivers stay aware of bicyclists

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Certain lanes across Orlando have been painted green to alert drivers that bicyclists are using the lanes.

Channel 9's Julie Salomone found out it's part of a pilot program to better protect the cyclists who are sharing the road with drivers.

Kyle Markel owns a bike shop on Primrose Drive and bikes nearly 100 miles a week. He told Eyewitness News that he’s had close calls with drivers.

“Definitely choose my paths carefully. I take a lot of neighborhoods if I can,” Markel said.

Bike lanes on Rosalind Avenue, and Magnolia Avenue from Anderson Street to East Colonial Drive will be painted green.

The pilot program will study if the colored lanes will reduce traffic crashes between drivers and bicyclists.

“Highlighting the bike lanes in areas where there’s a lot of traffic,” said Billy Hattaway, the director of transportation for the city of Orlando.

The project cost $56,000 and was paid for by state money generated by a gas tax that people pay every time they fill up at the pump.

The benefits of green bike lanes include making bicyclists more visible, discouraging illegal parking in the bike lanes and increasing the likelihood a driver will yield to a bicyclist, a spokesperson for the city said.

Cities like Miami Beach, Tampa and Chicago already utilize green bike lanes.