The long-running roadway reconstruction project on South Main Street now features a new splash of color—green—intended to make cycling safer in Natick.
A Natick Report reader wrote to us of having noticed new large green rectangles painted on the southbound side of Rte. 27 at side street intersections. The Natick Department of Public Works told the reader that the markings are designed to give drivers a warning that cyclists might be zipping through.
Town Engineer William McDowell replied to our inquiry about the green paint as well:
“The green patterns painted on South Main Street at the side street intersections are to remind drivers as they enter South Main Street from the side streets that they are crossing another ‘travel lane’ occupied by cyclists. They are also to remind cyclists that they are crossing an intersection and to be aware of side street traffic.”
Such markings, dubbed “cross-bikes” (like “crosswalks”), are examples of green paint on streets coming to be recognized standards for cyclist safety. Green bike boxes at intersections help cyclists orient themselves ahead of motor vehicles, and bike lanes in some communities are painted green as well.
They also support the state’s efforts to improve the safety of sharing roads between motorists and cyclists.
Natick has used various markings on its roadways to safeguard and guide cyclists.