Thanks to a tip from Eric B, I made a point of including Abbot Kinney Blvd on my most recent ride so I could to check out the new sharrows — the final link in the city’s new six-street sharrows pilot project.
Over all, they seem to do the job.
When there wasn’t a bike present, the cars rolled over the sharrows as if they weren’t there — unlike the response on Westholme Ave, where drivers didn’t seem to know what to make of them.
When there were bikes around, the drivers passed whenever the opportunity presented. But at least they all seemed to pass at a safe distance.
Which, I suppose, is all we can really ask for.
There’s one oddly placed sharrow on the westbound lane about a block from Venice, where the street curves, which seems to direct riders off the roadway — although I didn’t get a photo of it, since I was a little preoccupied with trying not to get run over at the time.
Maybe it was directing riders to stop at the food trucks that frequent the parking lot at the Brig, since that seems to be where it’s pointing.
And like the other locations, the raised thermoplastic makes for a bumpy ride, which may encourage cyclists to ride beside the sharrows rather than over them — giving riders less control over the lane and placing them at the edge of the door zone.
So now the final piece of the pilot project is in place.
While we may think sharrows are a no brainer, the question remains whether the city’s implementation of them will encourage cyclists to use them. Or if decisions made regarding their placement on the streets will make riders feel less safe.
How drivers will respond is also an open question. Especially without adequate signage or educational efforts directed at motorists.
As is whether historically risk-averse LADOT will use the results to improve future installations throughout the city. Or call it a failed experiment and throw in the towel if issues arise.
It’s going to be an interesting experiment.
On the last day of the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish won the final sprint in Paris, while Alberto Contador won his third Tour by one of the smallest margins in TdF history — the same amount of time Andy Schleck lost when he dropped his chain.
In the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour, Schleck gave it his best in Saturday’s time trial, but it just isn’t enough as Fabian Cancellara won the stage and Contador clinched victory — but Schleck will be back in 2011. After Christian Vande Velde crashes out of the Tour, aptly named Canadian Ryder Hesjedal became an overnight sensation for Garmin-Transitions. Tyler Farrar should be back on his bike in time for next month’s Tour of Spain. For Lance Armstrong, his 13th Tour really was bad luck as he finished 23rd, and his team’s attempt to honor cancer survivors was disallowed, but at least the French are on his side for once.
And on Nightline, Floyd Landis said “I saw Lance Armstrong using drugs.”
A look at Saturday’s Walk and Ride for a Safer 4th Street. Make your plans for the first public meeting of the bike committee of the Santa Monica Recreation & Parks Committee on Monday night. Tuesday evening there’s a demonstration and press conference in Beverly Hills to protest the slap on the wrist given Celine Mahdavi for nearly killing Louis “Birdman” Deliz. Courtesy of my friends at Altadenablog, a USC neuropathologist rides 140 miles for Alzheimer’s research. Get your limited edition, hand-printed CicLAvia t-shirt. The former chairman of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission is ordered to stand trial for killing a cyclist while driving with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit. Three NorCal cyclists are hurt in separate incidents on the same road just hours apart — two on the same spot. The cyclist killed in North Dakota last week was on her way to Casper WY to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. A DC area cyclist dies, apparently from the high heat and humidity blanketing the East Coast. A Brit Olympian is in stable condition after suffering a skull fracture when he was hit by a truck in Winslow AZ last Tuesday. A reminder that bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road, too; thanks, we didn’t know that. Everything you need to know to talk bikes in 27 European languages. Every bike means less traffic and one more parking space. Twelve reasons why vehicular cycling may not be the answer for everyone.
Finally, a conversation with London mayor and avid bike supporter Boris Johnson, who undoubtedly won a lot of fans with his stand on bike theft.
“Plainly, we will treat bike thieves with the utmost severity. I’m looking at a very draconian policy. Bring back the stocks!”