New bike lane striping at two Tempe intersections

Those of you who ride in northern Tempe have probably noticed the new red bike lanes at the intersections of College and Apache, and Ash and University that were installed a little over a week ago.

red bike lanes

The red “treatment” is a test and these two intersections were targeted due to their high bicycle use and unique automotive traffic restrictions (southbound traffic at both intersections is not permitted). Here is what Eric Iwersen, City of Tempe Transportation Planner, has to say about the new red lanes:

City of Tempe installed a new colorized surface treatment in the bike lanes at the intersections of Ash & University and College & Apache to increase the visibility of the bike lane and to emphasize and support compliance with the unique vehicle lane striping at these sites. The colorized treatment is an experiment and will be reviewed by the city for possible broader use in the community.

Tempe has issued an official press release on the new bike lanes, and Eric also appeared on Channel 3 (you may have to register to see the video) at the crack of dawn on Friday morning to discuss the new lanes.

Although I wish the lanes were a more bold shade of red (and reflective), I think they are a step in the correct direction. It is great to see Tempe testing new ways to increase visibility and safety for cyclists.

What do you think about the new red bike lanes at these intersections? Where else in Tempe would similar highlighting of the bike lane through the intersection help to improve cyclist’s safety?

6 thoughts on “New bike lane striping at two Tempe intersections

  1. I don’t like them…and I notice most people at that intersection avoid riding on them. This is because they use a rough surface. There must be a better way to add coloration without changing the riding surface (I’ve seen this done in Florida where they use a similar color, but the riding surface isn’t spongy and rough).

  2. Clint – The red lanes are a surface treatment meant to provide significantly better durability than paint. The roughness of the surface presumably is a by-product of the treatment.

  3. I am neutral on the benefit of these red color guide paths (these are not bike lanes!) that connect the bike lanes on each side of the intersection.

    As to the surface texture, it is hardly a problem to cycle on with any width tire. The texture may increase rolling resistance a bit (so what it’s only a few tens of feet), but it does not diminish ride quality. The pavement on College is in far worse shape, rougher and with lots of bumps, holes, gaps and more problematic to ride on than this red rough texture paint. We would be in paradise if all the roads in the Valley were as uniform and bump free as these red guide paths.

    That said if all bike lanes or roads were treated with this texture it would be an issue due to increased rolling resistance over extended distances where it would matter.


  4. I think the new red lanes are great. They provide visibility in the intersection to a point that is noticeable enough for a driver to know a biker may be traveling in that lane and direction. I think a darker red would be too much of a distraction to drivers but hopefully it is not necessary. As a driver I don’t want to have to think twice about another color(darker) on the road because that second I take to think could be used watching the car or light in front of me. As a biker I am glad for some visibility in the intersection as seeing the red color from a car is much better than seeing the bike lane disappear in every intersection and to appear on the other side not knowing what happens in between. Tempe is moving forward in a great direction. As a university student, driver, biker, and community contributor I thank you.

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