A new word for your vocabulary

July 22, 2007 at 3:16 pm | In WS miscellaneous | 7 Comments

“Sharrows.” The city’s definition: “… bicycle symbols that are placed in the roadway lane indicating that motorists should expect to see and share the lane with bicyclists.” City crews have roughed in some “sharrows” along a stretch of Beach Drive (this one is across from the north end of Me-Kwa-Mooks), as they start to implement the city’s Bicycle Master Plan:

sharrow.jpg

A city handout made available at Thursday’s Alki Community Council meeting had full details on where this work will be happening and how it will affect traffic — click ahead for those details:

From the city’s letter, addressed to ACC president Jackie Ramels:

“… Over the next two years, the city will add approximately 136 miles of bike lanes and signed bike routes. Overall, the plan calls for developing 452 miles of marked or separated bicycle routes over the next 10 years.

“As part of this plan, SDOT will be installing bicycle facilities on Beach Drive from 63rd Ave SW to 48th Ave SW, extending up Lincoln Park Way SW to the intersection of 47th Ave SW and Fauntleroy SW, within the next two to four weeks. Residents will notice new features in Seattle’s growing bicycle network such as shared lane pavement markings or ‘sharrows.’ …

“Both motorists and bicyclists should continue to follow the rules of the road when sharrows are on the roadway. Motorists should continue to give bicyclists three feet of space when passing, while bicyclists should use the sharrow to guide where they ride within the lane and remember not to ride too close to parked cars.

“While there will be no permanent changes to parking on this street, SDOT will need to temporarily restrict parking in some areas to implement these improvements. No Parking signs will be posted at least 72 hours prior to the start of work. Vehicles that remain parked during the restricted times will be towed. …”

7 Comments

  1. It’s a start. It still puts cyclists at risk since the motorist education program hasn’t started yet. It’s equivalent, though, to allowing pedestrians to walk in the road when there’s no sidewalk. Many would call this a half-a** attempt to gain bike-city status. A better solution, of course, would be for the city to actually spend real money and develop a real bike network. How many miles of roadway in Seattle. That’s a real network for cars. How about a real network for bikes. And speaking of pedestrians – isn’t 33 percent of the city without sidewalks. How about a real network for pedestrians, too.

    Comment by chas redmond — 5:52 pm July 22, 2007 #

  2. And one that does TAKE AWAY needed crosswalks. I nearly got mowed down on my way to and from Luna Park Cafe this morning.

    Comment by Radley — 7:17 pm July 22, 2007 #

  3. Mayor Nickleneck wants to put in $270 million dollars just for bike paths..What a waste of money.

    Comment by Jiggers — 8:30 pm July 22, 2007 #

  4. Speaking of bike lanes. does anyone know a route from Westwood down to 2nd and Lucile without going down Roxbury/Olsen Place/ect by bike??

    Thanks.

    Comment by Todd in Westwood — 6:05 am July 23, 2007 #

  5. As far as I’ve been able to determine, “sharrows” originated in San Francisco in 2004. Here’s my dictionary entry for “sharrow”.

    Comment by Grant Barrett — 7:16 am July 23, 2007 #

  6. re: Todd in Westwood. I commute daily from 30th & Webster to 1st & Dawson by bike — pretty similar to your start and destination. My round-about path is 30th to Thistle to 16th to Holden, then down Highland Park Way (not as scary to ride down as it might seem) to the 1st Ave bridge (fine, underused bike path), and then you’re basically there. I much prefer this route to using the lower W. Seattle bridge

    On the bigger issue, sharrows definitely *don’t* cost $270 million to paint in the road, but have been shown to make a big difference in how bikers ride and cars drive. Can’t wait to see them here in W. Seattle.

    Comment by Sage — 9:30 am July 23, 2007 #

  7. re: Chas

    Yeah thats right, lets spend MILLIONS of $ on less than 6%, at best; in the best weather, of commuters.

    During my commute EVERY day to and from work on Lk. Union, I have the “pleasure” to observe how bikers OBEY the “rules of the road.” A kindly estimate of those that actually OBEY the laws is about 2 in 10.

    I have seen bikers purposely stay in the middle of the road just to imped cars.

    I have seen bikers “split lanes” to get to the front of stop light lines.

    I have seen bikers cut across lanes of traffic without using hand signals.

    I have seen bikers cut through crosswalks WHILE pedestrians are in it, almost hitting them.

    If bikers want to “share the road” I have no problem with that, but THEY MUST OBSERVE TRAFFIC LAWS ALSO.

    Comment by Frank — 12:46 pm August 1, 2007 #

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