Bikes Belong has launched the Green Lane project to provide info & grants to help six US cities build separated bike lanes.

US bike industry org helps six cities to ‘Go Dutch’

The Green Lanes project was officially launched by Bikes Belong at the end of May. Yesterday, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (pictured) wrote about the project on his FastLane blog.

He said Green Lanes are "next-generation bike lanes carefully separated from vehicle lanes by a buffer of curbs, thin posts, attractive planters, or even parked cars."

Bikes Belong is an industry-funded advocacy group. The group is in discussions to merge with the League of American Bicyclists, and Alliance for Biking & Walking.

The US Department of Transport is not putting any cash into the Green Lanes Project but Ray LaHood is a big supporter of cycling. He was the keynote speaker at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. in March. At this summit he vented his frustration at the non-passage of the US Transportation Bill and how many Republicans (of which he’s one, despite serving a Democrat president) try to scrub money for non-motorised transport from national and local transportation budgets.

The Green Lanes Project was officially opened in Chicago by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. The US Federal Highway Administration was created by cyclists.

Chicago’s mayor plans to build 25 miles of segregated bike lane every year.

Other cities in the project are Austin, Memphis, Portland, Ore., San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Martha Roskowski, Green Lane Project director, said. “The selected cities have ambitious goals and a vision for bicycling supported by their elected officials and communities. They are poised to get projects on the ground quickly and will serve as excellent examples for other interested cities.”

LaHood said: "Bicyclists like green lanes because they protect riders from motor vehicles and make them feel safe. For novices, they are more inviting than regular bike lanes. That means that adding green lanes can increase the number of people using pedal power to get where they’re going. In fact, in Washington, DC, since traffic-separated lanes were installed down Pennsylvania Avenue and up 15th Street, bicycling on those roads has tripled."

Register for the BikeBiz News Digest at the registration page.

Follow BikeBiz on Twitter at @BikeBizOnline or ‘Like’ the BikeBiz Facebook page here.

In other news...

Leatt appoints Bastian Dietz and Dain Zaffke to focus on MTB market

Leatt, the head-to-toe protective gear brand, has announced that it is reinforcing its team with …