Another Look At Sharrows – And More to Come!

June 17, 2010 at 8:44 am | Posted in Bike News | 8 Comments
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photo by Joe Linton via laecovillage blog

Sharrows have been spotted on Fountain Ave. and now on 4th Street and we are expecting more to come! This is an exciting time for LA and we would like to thank you, our members and cycling community for helping make this happen. You wrote letters, you came to meetings and you supported us through this process. After 5 years of dodging delays we are very happy to see them on on our streets.

We would like to acknowledge the different reactions to the new Los Angeles sharrows. Cyclists who have ridden the sharrows on Fountain Ave. have expressed extreme excitement and feelings of empowerment while others offer criticism on best placement for the sharrow in the lane. What is important to keep in mind is that this is already an improvement on the current conditions, where there are no sharrows at all. LACBC is glad to see that we are moving forward on getting more bicycle facilities on our streets. Based on results from the San Francisco sharrows study, sharrows have a positive impact on motorist and cyclist behavior, positions and safety and encourage more ridership.

We understand the community’s concerns about proper placement of sharrows and we agree that in addition to getting sharrows on our streets the goal is to ensure that best practices are achieved. After contacting multiple bicycle advocacy organizations from different cities that have painted sharrows, LACBC has found that many place their sharrows at 11 or 12 feet and have reported positive reactions from local cyclists. We have also found that some cities paint them in the center of the lane or at 13 to 14 feet from the curb depending on lane width with very positive reactions from the community as well. Most of these cities reported following the guidelines as recommended from the San Francisco study and CAMUTCD code which states that the sharrow marking should be placed at a minimum of 11 ft, but optionally, the distance from the curb may be increased.  

Moving forward, LACBC recommends that LADOT carefully consider alternate placement locations for sharrows depending on the lane width, traffic volume, size of parking lane, and other important factors that determine where they should be placed in order that sharrows are used effectively and appropriately when installed in the future. We also request that LADOT make it clear what the goals of the study are and maintain as much transparency as possible in order to build more trust within the community.

The LADOT study calls for the placement of sharrows on 6 streets throughout LA. LADOT needs to be clear about the goals of the study and the procedures and processes used to evaluate what is going to be best practices to enhance the safety of cyclists, the vulnerable users of the road.

LACBC will be doing outreach and providing educational material for cyclists and motorists along each corridor.  It is important for folks to understand why sharrows are useful, and how to appropriately ride with them: they alert motorists that cyclists are present, help to enforce that cyclists do belong in the lane, ensure better lane positioning for cyclists to avoid the door zone and direct cyclists to ride in the correct direction.

We are looking forward to seeing more sharrows appear on our streets in the next month and hope that you enjoy your right to the lane! Encourage your friends to ride them and let us know what you think.

And remember, this is just the beginning of what we hope to be many more miles of bike infrastructure on our streets. Let’s continue to work together to make LA safer for all cyclists including our kids, brothers, sisters, partners and parents alike and get more bike lanes, separated bike lanes and a connected bikeway network in Los Angeles.

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  1. Thank you LACBC and thank you to everyone involved with getting these Sharrows onto our streets. And thank you for focusing on the positive accomplishments, while still continuing to work on correcting the inevitable problems that occur when undertaking a project of this scope.

    • Sharrows are better than nothing, but do little to help motorists.
      Parking is near a critical mass in some areas, interstates are
      overcrowded, and and now the MAIN non-freeway streets are having
      to be shared with traffic which insists on taking the whole lane
      for a vehicle which is really narrow and is carrying only one passenger.
      Isn’t it time to think outside the box. Sharrows are not outside the
      box. Remove stop signs so bicycles do not need to break the vehicle
      laws when using side streets instead of clogging the MAIN streets.
      Converting metal detecting intersections to motion detecting for
      traffic lights would also help reduce bicyclist need to run red lights.
      A few well place one block long or shorter bike paths perhaps could
      make lots of dead end streets into bike friendly corridors.
      Otherwise put sharrows on Los Feliz Blvd, and Wilshire Blvd.

  2. […] the LACBC notes that while some cyclists have complained about the placement of the sharrows on Fountain, others […]

  3. […] Sharrows Placement a Turning Point for L.A. Cyclists (LACBC) […]

  4. […] Sharrows Placement a Turning Point for L.A. Cyclists (LACBC) […]

  5. […] LACBC Blog – Another Look At Sharrows – And More To Come! […]

  6. […] To see the article at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), click through to their blog here. […]

  7. […] see the article at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), click through to their blog here. And for an informative article about current and future sharrow locations at L.A. Eco-Village […]

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