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14th St. Sharrow Markings In Santa Monica

The placement is well outside of the door zone, and with consistent spacing, unlike some of the issues raised about early sharrows in City of Los Angeles. Additionally, and I think this may be just as important as the sharrow it self, a previously double yellow line has been replaced with a dashed single yellow. Although a motorist can legally cross a double yellow when safe to do so to pass a cyclist, I always find motorists are less willing to and more likely to pass much too close when double yellow lines are present. This change in markings makes it much more obvious and clear that motorists are welcome to cross over to pass, and promote sharing of the space rather than communicating more rigid separations of space.

 

However I have one critique about them, they are only painted at the block beginning and block end, with zero mid block markings. I think the problem with no mid-block markings is it may cue less experienced cyclists to retreat to the door zone after they get through an intersection, and drivers may not fully understand their purpose without reminders mid-block. Bike lanes in Santa Monica typically also only have bike markings at the beginning of blocks, and drivers routinely exploit the space which is not always clearly communicated as being a bike only lane.

 

I would feel much better about these sharrows if there were an additional at least 1 or even better 2 markings placed mid-block as well. We want to encourage cyclists to hold a consistent line through traffic, and not swerve around unpredictably.

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Taken on July 6, 2010