Green Bike Lane Paint Fight Pits Producers Against Cyclists

Movie industry representatives say the paint ruins film shoots

The Los Angeles City Council delayed a vote on Friday to repaint bike lanes on Spring Street a darker, less reflective shade of green to avoid disrupting film shoots.

The council will now take up the issue at its June 14 meeting.

The decision was expected to help settle a battle over the color of a bike lane in downtown LA.

Bike lanes on Spring Street from Caesar Chavez Avenue to Ninth Street in downtown were painted green in 2011 as a way to clearly mark where bicyclists ride on the congested downtown street.

But TV and movie industry representatives are fighting to change it, saying the neon green color relfects on buildings, props and actors’ faces and is tough to remove from scenes that depict urban settings like those found in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York.

But City Councilman Jose Huizar, who pushed for the lanes to be re-painted bright green, reminded film and TV production people that "this is a thriving community, not a backlot," Huizar's spokesman told the Los Angeles Times in an article last month.

He said green bike lanes have increased safety and promoted rider awareness.

In a motion being considered Friday, the City Council is expected to vote whether to expand the project to other bike lanes after a pilot project.

Huizar's motion also instructs the city's transportation department to work with FilmL.A., the organization that processes permits for on-location motion picture, TV and commercial production in the region, and federal regulators to come up with alternative shades that could be used for future bike lane developments in the city.

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