Friday, April 10, 2009

Guerrilla Bike Lanes

Case of upside-down chalk paint: $40
Handy paint-in-a-straight-line-roller thingy: $15
Making your own bike lane: Priceless
ash...housewares comments on a recent post about a disappearing bike lane in Portland.

Interested in making your own guerrilla bike lane? The Toronto Star tells us how:

It was all carefully planned in advance. A few members came to the area the night before to scout out the neighbourhood and test the line painter in a back alley. It would take roughly 30 minutes to paint stencils every 50 feet down the stretch of road, they realized.

They began their work at 3:15 p.m. with cars still parked along the curb. The group has to wait for rush hour, because that's the only time cars can't park where the bike lane would be.

"Cars are a good cover when we do the stencilling," says one of two female members in the group.

"Perfect," one says, as they notice a red Honda parked only feet away from a large Chevy. With lookouts at the ready, the pair crouch between the two bumpers. One holds down a large cardboard stencil, while the other traces the image with paint.

Once the diamonds and bike logos are done, the woman puts on an orange emergency-worker vest and walks straight into oncoming traffic. As she signals for cars to pass into the centre lane, another walks behind her, using a line painter.

Commuters instinctively take their positions, and bikes head right for the new lane, as drivers dutifully merge left.

"Are we finally getting a bike lane?" asked a passerby heading into a corner store.

"Yes ma'am," one of the Repair Squad replies.

"How exciting!"

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