Sharrows have shown up on 30th Street. Todd Gloria’s Office: Read the CA Vehicle Code on Meaning of Sharrow

Sharrow markings have shown up on 30th Street

Sharrows have shown up in District Three along 30th Street above Switzer Canyon. A whole year after Council President Todd Gloria requested the city to put them in:


Yesterday, Don Goyette wondered what was going on with the placement of the sharrows:

Do you have any idea what the idea is behind their placements? On 30th between Laurel and Olive, where they are not much needed since there are almost no parked cars and plenty room to ride free of traffic, they paint these things. But north to approx. Redwood with almost solid parked cars they leave blank. I ride that stretch often and get very tense past Olive trying to avoid opening car doors and speeding traffic.

What the heck are they thinking?

Board member Chris Taylor made some calls and responded:

Don, I had the exact same reaction to the sharrows as you did.  In fact, I think they are an affirmative problem the way they are placed because most drivers don’t know that a sharrow represents the proper lane position for a cyclist – from my (extremely) informal survey, most drivers seem to think it is a signal that they should expect bikes in the road.  So, the City puts the sharrows in the wide section, over the canyon where there is plenty of room for everyone (even if cyclists aren’t required to be on the shoulder, most (including me) go there when riding over Switzer) but then, when cyclists have to climb the hill into S.Park or the hill towards Redwood, the sharrows disappear – where we are slowing (because of the hill) and where the lanes get narrow because of the parked cars.  I could see motorists thinking that cyclists don’t belong in the lane in those areas there because the sharrows disappeared.  I think the current placement (and, more importantly, disappearance) creates a real potential for conflict.

At any rate, I just got off the phone with Ed Clancy, the Mayor’s bike czar (for lack of a better term).  I explained the issue.  He is going to look into it to see if they are done with the sharrows in that section or if they just didn’t get it finished.  Stay tuned . . . .
Goyette expressed gratitude and made a request

Thank you, Chris.

I also would like to see a clear definition of the meaning of the sharrows very well publicized.  They started showing up a couple years ago and I’ve seen no official explication of their purpose in the media. A few years ago I’d have said a series of articles in the UT would do it, but of course nobody sees that any more (with very good reason). I suppose TV is the only mass media left.  Could Mr. Clancy get something out there?
We asked Dion Akers at Gloria’s (District Three Councilmember) office about publicizing the purpose of a sharrow and he responded:

1. No PR Department here at the city.

2. Shared roadway markings, or “sharrows,” are contained within the California Vehicle Code, as far as I know. So folks should know about them.

3. We’ll also try to remind folks of these assets.

The city’s 2011 bicycle master plan states this about sharrows:

Consider use of shared lane markings, also known as “Sharrows” to provide guidance to  bicyclists and motorists on roadways that are too narrow for Class II Bike Lanes

The plan goes on to state

Bike routes provide shared use with motor vehicle traffic within the same travel lane. Designated by  signs, Bike Routes provide continuity to other bike  facilities or designate preferred routes through  corridors with high demand. Whenever possible, Bike  Routes should be enhanced with treatments that  improve safety and connectivity, such as the use of  “Sharrows” or shared lane markings to delineate that  the road is a shared-use facility.”

Update: The sharrows have inched its way up to Upas Street: