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Green bike lanes likely coming to Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. — Green colored bicycle lanes may be coming to portions of selected streets in Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe City Council on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for city staff to work with the Metropolitan Planning Organization to study the costs and benefits of a five-year pilot project that would create green colored pavement markings at high-risk intersections. Public utilities and public works department employees are then to report back to the Council with their findings within 60 days.

The resolution, introduced by Mayor Javier Gonzales, states that the Federal Highway Administration gave interim approval to green colored pavement in marked bicycle lanes and extensions of bicycle lanes through intersections as a traffic control device. It also states that research has shown that bicyclists feel safer riding in such lanes and that automobile drivers like them because it increases awareness that bicyclists might be present.

The resolution is “targeted at improving bicycle safety within the City of Santa Fe.”

New Mexico ranked second in the country behind Florida in the number of cyclist deaths per capita from 2010-12, and 50 percent higher than the U.S. rate during that period, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

In 2013, seven New Mexico cyclists were killed, 89 were hospitalized and 1,684 were treated for injuries at hospital emergency departments and released, according to the report.

Colored bicycle lanes are already in use in cities such as Boston, New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle.