For the past three weeks, bicycle logos have been painted on certain streets in Kensington, leaving residents baffled as to what they meant. The mystery of the logos was revealed when Jim Baross, president of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, addressed the Kensington/Talmadge Planning Committee on May 11.
The name of the logo is a “sharrow,” and (among other indications) it is a reminder for all drivers to share the road with cyclists. Baross said that San Francisco was the first city to receive the sharrows on an experimental basis and, after a two-year test period, they were deemed effective for statewide use. Kensington is the first San Diego community to receive the sharrows, and they are now appearing on North Park and Normal Heights streets.
Baross said that the sharrow markings are intended to show where cyclists can ride on the street without being hit by car doors that open suddenly. Although it is the motorist's responsibility to check before opening their door, riding too close to parked cars in the "door zone" is a common mistake that can lead to serious injury to bicyclists.
The sharrow markings will also be used in situations where it may not be obvious where cyclists should be riding (such as at intersections with multiple turn lanes) and to guide bicyclists on the best streets without hills or major traffic. The streets with sharrows will evolve into an interconnecting network of routes for cyclists with minimal inclines and less traffic, with a long-range goal of increasing bicycle ridership along safer, easier routes.