Fourth grader’s green bike lane project wins top prize at Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair

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Fourth grader’s green bike lane project wins top prize at Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair

Teagan and her father Randy paint a bike lane in front of her school.

Fourth grader, Teagan, often rides her bike to school. When arriving and departing from school, she noticed that parents were often idling their vehicles in the bike lane while waiting to pick up or drop off their children. She had an idea: what if the bike lane was painted? Would it be more noticeable to drivers?

With assistance from her father, a Bike/Walk Tampa Bay board member and owner of Oliver’s Cycle Sports in New Tampa, she used a semi-temporary spray paint to paint the bike bright green for her class science project. She called her science project “Ride in Green to be Seen!” Bike/Walk Tampa Bay provided the paint which closely matches the permanent paint used to highlight bike lanes on public roadways. After 100 observations, she found that on average, 1.2 cars per 15 were in the bike lane after the painting vs 7.6 per 15 cars before. Her project won Best in Show at the Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) says green bicycle lanes increases visibility of bicyclists, discourages illegal parking in the bike lane, increases bicyclist comfort through having a clearly delineated space, increases motorist yielding behavior, and helps reduce bicycle conflicts with turning motorists.

3 Comments

  1. Don says:

    The intention is good but paint in a bike lane is not safe. When wet, it’s like riding on ice.

    • Margaret Kubilins says:

      Traffic paint or thermoplastic is designed to maintain a level of friction even when wet so it doesn’t become slippery. Demonstration projects usually do not have enough paint to keep the friction of the pavement from coming through.

  2. Erin says:

    My son wants to do this near his school! He rides a bike to school and is forced to ride into the vehicle lanes because parents park their vehicles in the bike lane. I think several kids/parents in our area would love to help and I would be willing to organize whatever resources are needed. I don’t know who to talk to about getting permits and such. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!