It may look as though a New York State Department of Transportation crew confused Memorial Day with St. Patrick's Day and began painting a green line for the Utica parade, but there is actually good reason for the green striping now in place along Oriskany Boulevard/Route 5S through downtown.

That narrow new lane on the right side of the road is a bike lane, and is marked with the unique coloring to help it stand out.

The bike was apart of the design when crews began work to lay new road and a roundabout on that heavily traveled stretch of Route 5S flowing through the city.

credit: New York State Department of Transportation
credit: New York State Department of Transportation

That glittery, reflective road marking you often see at intersection walkways was simply colored green in this case. And in case you didn't know, it isn't a sticky powder, or glitter or sand or salt or paint. It's actually glass.

NYSDOT Public Information Officer Jim Piccola tells WIBX 950 it's actually glass.


And, if you're worried about any issues it may cause with a motor vehicle or bicycle tire, don't be. Piccola says those little pieces of glass are run through a tumbler taking away any sharp edges or roughness that could harm you or your tires.

credit: New York State Department of Transportation
credit: New York State Department of Transportation

That stretch of roadway, often referred to as the Route 5S Corridor, was completely overhauled and had been under construction for nearly three years. The overall $18 million project included the addition of a roundabout at John Street. You may also notice the existing four-lanes, for motor vehicles, are a bit narrower that they were prior to construction. It was intentional and is known as a 'road diet'. While it may seem counter-intuitive, experts say stretches of road that undergo thinning or have lane reductions see a drop in the number of automobile crashes by 20% or more.

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