BikeCommuters.com

Sharrow Cam from Long Beach

In case you wanted to know what it was like to ride down our big green stripe : )

11 Comments

  1. Krisjohn

    Ah, now I’m starting to see what it’s trying to solve, but it’s a bad compromise.

    It’s trying to give cyclists a safe spot on a main road when there aren’t enough cyclists to justify them taking a lane away from the cars (and not enough remaining room to add a bike lane). Yes?

    Near a local university they have some similar issues. They’ve decided to go with; parking – door gap – bike lane – car lane. I tend to think that’s right, even if the car drivers complain about losing a lane. (I’ll see if I can get a photo or a video some time.)

    In Long Beach, they’ve gone with parking – shared lane with door gap marked for bikes – car lane.

    I think they’ve missed a key element. That shared lane needs a reduced speed limit. One of the main dangers is when two things sharing the one lane are going at vastly different speeds, whether it’s two tons of steel vs 10kg of carbon fibre or cyclists that like to go at warp 10 vs strolling pedestrians on public shared paths.

    And I still say the big green stripe makes it look like a bike-only lane. It should have been done with icons. A car icon in the lane furthest from the parking, a car and a bike icon in the lane next to the parking (and perhaps a lower speed limit marked in there too). I know the car doors are a problem, but I think trying to mark a lane-in-a-lane is only going to be confusing.

    I’d also be very interested to see the join between the bike lane the video starts in and the sharrow. I bet it’s confusing.

  2. Rantwick

    You know, it will only take a few car drivers who know it’s for them too to set the tone for the rest of the motorists.

  3. Major Taylor

    I really LOVE the layout of your blog. The advertising is of particular interest, Do you manage these privately?

  4. RL

    Major Taylor,

    Yes we do and if you want to talk more, contact me directly, (I’m the Co-Founder)

    infoATbikecommutersDOTcom

  5. Russ Roca (Post author)

    KrisJohn,
    Respectfully, I think you’re missing the whole point of the facility. Every travel lane is already a “shared lane.” The green stripe/sharrow does not magically change the right travel lane into something different. Period.

    There are no legal changes to that right travel lane. Cars can still use it. Some may argue it looks confusing and I’ll grant that, but it’s still a regular travel lane.

    The only function that the sharrows serve is to remind motorists/cyclists of the pre-existing right to use the road.

    While it is a “main road” so to speak, the traffic speed is about 18mph and some times much much slower.

    I rode there today and I barely broke 9mph for about 12 blocks it was so congested. Thus the argument that it is unsafe because of vastly differing traffic speeds don’t really apply in this case.

    KJ, I’d really suggest taking a cycling safety class from a local League of American Bicyclist instructor. It sounds as if you are afraid of riding in traffic. That’s an OK reaction, but I think if you took a class you’d see that this treatment (and even w/o the stripe/sharrow treatment) can be navigated safely.

    I’ve been doing it nearly every day for the last 4 years.

    Personally, I much prefer Sharrow treatments to bike lanes or separated facilities. More often than not, bike lanes are poorly executed with more than 80% of lanes in the door zone and since most streets aren’t wide enough – they disappear all of a sudden.

    All this can be solved by education people how to ride bikes properly and also the use of sharrows.

    Russ

  6. Chris

    I’d prefer a dedicated bike lane, but that’s not always possible.

    The Sharrow puts drivers on notice that -YES- bikes are supposed to be in the road, and not way over at the right.

  7. Ghost Rider

    I like sharrows…don’t get me wrong — they are a great way to let all road users know what that lane is for.

    But, let’s try to be objective here: WE know what they’re for, as do most seasoned road-going cyclists. But does the “average joe” know what they mean? How ’bout the average motorist? I am far less confident in that…

    And, the use of a green stripe, in my opinion, only muddies the issue. Green is an accepted color for bike boxes and dedicated bike lanes in other municipalities (as is blue). I can see cars using the sharrowed lane here, but do most people REALLY understand what’s going on here?

    My thought is that sharrows MUST be coupled with a media barrage explaining what they are and how they work whenever a city rolls them out. I hope Long Beach has done this… at least a sharrow should be painted with both bicycle AND car silhouettes to help elminate some of the potential confusion.

  8. Cory

    I love the sharrows. For southern California, Long Beach is very forward thinking, but I am curious to see the effect that vehicle travel has on that green stripe. Most cities have a difficult enough time maintaining existing roadway surfaces, yet alone a big green stripe that will begin to fade over time. What benefit does the green stripe provide over just putting down sharrows and does the benefit out way the cost? Just a thought, but either way I’ll take sharrows where I can get them! Good job.

  9. John Ocampo

    Excellent webpage! Wish we had the same green paint on our main street (Sta. Monica Blvd.)

  10. Beverly

    I am not a bike rider and know zip about this green stripe down the middle of the right lane in Belmont Shore. I’ve been learning about it here on your website.
    There were 4 boys riding skate boards down the middle of the street when I was down there this afternoon. They looked confused and all the drivers were. Obviously, they don’t belong there.
    My biggest concern is educating the public. I’ve not seen anything posting rules/regs as to how this is supposed to work. I am truly concerned that someone is going to get hurt because they don’t know what to do.
    I also would like to know how something like this was put into play without the local folks knowing about it and having some say in advance.

  11. rick

    What is it like in the rain?

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