sharrows: sharing is caring

by on Jan.14, 2010, under e/n, transportation

City of Los Angeles Transportation Committee

Department of Transportation (DOT) reports:

Shared Lane Pavement Markings (sharrows) pilot program

Sharrows are cautionary and instructive traffic markings to assist cyclists and drivers to share the lane. In 2004 the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) approved the use of this marking in the State of California. Since then numerous cities have had them in place and have experienced a reduction in car/bike conflicts. I was pleased to experience these in my hometown of Long Beach, CA last year and have always envied the more progressive bicycling infrastructure of most every other city I’ve visited.

Los Angeles has a pilot program to test before widespread implementation with the new LA Bike Plan. There are 11 months to complete the sharrows pilot and an expected design to implementation within 3 months. The funding is in place and it sounds as if the program is ready to go once SCAG approves.

Although the councilmen have claimed the city should not be held liable for “guerrilla” sharrows in Highland Park, I suggest the sharrows be evaluated and adopted. I do not foresee any cause of accident being a cautionary sign alerting everyone to the obvious. If it takes writing “BIKE” all over the place, as LaBonge suggests, then I’m all for it. There is just no need to spend money on removing it either.

As an aside, the assertion by council and DOT that scofflaw cyclists are a bigger problem than drivers is one that that is false and only shows the ignorant contempt to what cyclists typically face in traffic (ie. scofflaw drivers). The city needs to make an effort in educating everyone (eg. drivers, law enforcement, cyclists, pedestrians, etc).

Bicycle sharing program request for information (RFI)

Bike sharing is common in many major metropolitan cities across the world now. The way it works is the bikes are available at multiple transit junctions and you can use a membership or daily pass to ‘check out’ a bike. In my experience borrowing a bike works good for someone to try cycling for commuting or errands without making a commitment to buy and care for a bike. If the goal is to increase the mode share of cyclists this is one good way to accomplish it.

The City of Los Angeles is requesting information for a sharing program that could work for the sprawling, somewhat transit limited terrain. It sounds as if the main transit hubs are being favored as central locations for bike sharing; yet, schools, retail centers and main arteries have been noted as needing connection to bike sharing. Of course there is the issue of theft; but, with enough research and investment a bike sharing program would be successful.

1 comment for this entry:
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