As scooters become an increasingly used mode of local transportation in many cities, it seems that the space currently known as a ‘bike lane’, which is where scooters, skateboards, and other space-efficient micromobility modes of transport ideally would travel,  is somewhat misnamed.  In Fall, UO Professor Marc Schlossberg asked students in his Sustainable Transportation class to come up with a better name. One student, Michael Dooley, coined the SMILE Lane, or the Shared Micromobility Integrated Lane with Emergency access.  In the Spring of 2019, we held a student competition to design a stencil and placard for the SMILE Lane and awarded a 1st place prize of $500 and 2nd place prize of $250.  Here are our winners!

1st Place: Daisy Jones

2nd Place: Michael Dooley

Designing a SMILE Lane

In terms of design, a SMILE Lane does not need to be any different than what we now call a protected bikeway, as those are how cities get higher proportions of people feeling comfortable using streets in ways other than a car. The basics of design:

  • 6-12 feet in width;
  • Can be 1-way or 2-way (8 foot minimum for 2-way);
  • A physical barrier should separate the lane from cars on any non-residential street; a car parking lane can serve as the barrier, but higher quality barriers also can include everything from a short curb to green infrastructure and bioswales; and
  • Scooter or bike parking ought to be ‘in the street’ where car parking typically is, not on the sidewalk since we don’t want scooters and bikes on sidewalks if we can help it.

Using the SMILE Lane design

If you would like to use the concept or designs, please visit this page.

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