This morning, I set out on a ride down to Manhattan Beach, rolling right past the future home of sharrows on Westholme Ave.
As has been the case for the past few weeks, a quick glance up and down the street for traffic showed no signs of any new paint. At least none I hadn’t already spotted.
So imagine my surprise when I rolled back about 3 hours and 45 miles later, and noticed a car slow down to a near stop, evidently confused by the new markings that had suddenly appeared on Westholme.
I stopped to take a look, and sure enough, there were a pair of bright, shiny new sharrows on the street leading up to Wilshire Blvd. And a quick look the other way showed more heading south towards Santa Monica Blvd.
So even though my legs were on their last legs, I couldn’t resist the temptation to ride up as far as Wilshire to check them out.
Even though they were placed in the center of the lane, it seemed appropriate, since the lanes on this section are narrow — and definitely not sharable.
Riding up towards Wilshire, I was perfectly comfortable riding on the sharrows, moving to the right to let cars pass when it was safe and appropriate. Coming back, there were no cars parked on the right due to street sweeping restrictions, so I stuck to the parking lane and let the drivers have the traffic lane to themselves.
On the other hand, many of the drivers who went by didn’t seem to know what to make of the strange symbols on the road in front of them. Some slowed down and examined them closely, while others drove onto the other side of the road to go around them — even though there weren’t any bikes, or anything else, in their way.
Then there were others who didn’t seem to notice there was anything different.
Those are the ones I worry about.
That just leaves Abbot Kinney Blvd as the last of the six streets scheduled to get sharrows during the current pilot project. And I just rode there on my way back this afternoon.
So I can safely say there aren’t any there.