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Defining Sharrows

Editor,

Have you traveled on Cypress or Hillcrest Streets lately?  If so, you may have noticed the painted sharrows on the pavement there.  We want to let you know what sharrows are, and what they mean for Laguna drivers and cyclists.

Sharrows are: one simple, cost effective, “bucket of paint,” way to make Laguna Beach streets safer and more bike friendly; painted pavement markings that remind both drivers and cyclists that the law requires them to share the road together; only used when there isn’t enough space for a dedicated bike lane; a way to encourage and increase bicycle ridership, which frees up parking in the downtown area.

Sharrows is a play on words of  sharing and arrows.

What are the downsides and benefits?

Sharrows have no significant downside impact and are one cost effective solution towards implementing the state mandated Complete Streets Act – AB 1358 which requires cities to include complete street policies so that roadways are designed to safely accommodate all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, children, older people, and disabled people, as well as motorists.

Is this a new law?

No. Many people don’t realize that the law today states that a cyclist pedaling a street without a designated bike lane has the right to be in the middle of the traffic lane where it’s safer and further away from car doors opening into them. Sharrows simply acknowledge this right and, by increasing driver awareness, helps create safer conditions.

Sharrows are not: bike lane designations; posted on poles and do not create more sign pollution; anything more than acknowledgment of the law today. Cyclists have the right to use the full lane when conditions require.

We trust that this information has cleared up any questions you may have about sharrows.

 

The Laguna Beach Complete Streets Task Force

Christopher Prelitz, chair; Mayor Jane Egly and Verna Rollinger, council liasons.

 

Note: The next Complete Streets Task Force meeting is at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Susi Q Community Center.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Ed says:

    Thanks for the most succinct description of Sharrows Chris!
    While it may appear obvious, the arrows point in the direction of travel cyclists should take to “go with the flow” of traffic.

    Riding against traffic accounted for 3,373, or 30%, of cyclist collisions in the county as cited by the various police departments and recorded by the CHP from 2001-2012.
    Regards,
    Ed

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