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Today as Laura and I rode through Belmont Shore in Long Beach, we were greeted with what almost every cyclist dreams of – the proverbial yellow brick road for cyclists – a painted lane with Sharrows, that says in no uncertain terms – Bikes Are Welcome Here.
Behold. The Big Green Stripe in all its glory.
It was a long time coming and many of us had reservations about how it was going to be executed, but I think it came out beautifully.
However, not everything is perfect. There is still the public backlash to such a bold and progressive move to contend with. Already, many residents of the area are up in arms -questioning the safety of the sharrows. Like the fellow in this video that interrupted when I was interviewing our city’s new mobility coordinator, Charley Gandy.
To be clear, sharrows are mere reminders that cyclists have the right to be on the road. They are not bike lanes. They do not take real estate from motorists and confer them to cyclists. As a cyclist , you’re not getting any special privilege. Simply, your RIGHT to be in the road and to be in the center where it’s safe is just writ large.
It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the coming weeks. I’m expecting lots of heated debate from motorists, residents, business owners and so-called “cyclists”. Ah, we live in interesting times.