• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

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.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader

Comments

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 8:23 a.m.

It should be noted that shared lane (sharrow) markers are put in places where bicyclists already had the right to control the lane. That right is a combination of their right to be in the road granted by CVC 21200(a) and an exemption from the requirement to keep far right within the lane by CVC 21202(a)(3). These markers are merely informational to let people know that conditions necessary to satisfy at least one of the exceptions in CVC 21202(a)(3) are present.

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/part9.pdf http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vctoc.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_...

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 3:19 p.m.

I lived in Golden Hill for about 8 years and rode 28th to/from Harbor many times. Never had a problem there.

I've been taking the lane in narrow lanes for years. I have had a lot fewer problems since I've been doing that than I did before I learned to do that.

I've been riding the roads of San Diego since the mid 1980's. I've done quite a lot of study of bicycle safety and my mileage is into 6 figures.

Ignorance is not as good as knowledge.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 5:04 p.m.

I've been riding up and down the coast from San Ysidro to Oceanside since the mid 1980's. Again, taking the lane in narrow lanes works better for me than riding close to parked cars. I get a lot fewer close passes and I don't have to worry about a door opening in front of me. Almost all motorists DO move over. Occasionally some mentally challenged person will follow close and honk. Maybe 1-2 times per year someone will pass close (I ride around 7000 miles a year these days). Back when I used to keep far right all the time I got close passes whenever the lane got narrow but the difference there was that those drivers were clueless and many were likely not paying a lot of attention to me. The 1-2 per year I get now are completely focused on me and just trying to scared me, which causes me to not actually be scared.

When a bicyclist in the middle of the lane, drivers can very easily see them and instantly know that there is not enough room to pass within the lane. There is no ambiguity. There is no confusion. There is no need for careful judgement. You've just got to change lanes. It's easy.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 12:27 p.m.

This logo was not designed by SDCBC. Did you even bother to read the article? Did you not read any of my references?

This is a standard road marking defined in the national Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). I gave a link to that document. Look for "shared lane" in that document.

This marker does not make motorists run into the left side of motorists. Why would it? How does that even remotely make sense? These markers have been tested over the course of the last few years in several cities and they have worked extremely well. San Diego is late to the game on these.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 12:48 p.m.

Meant to say: "This marker does not make motorists run into the left side of bicyclists". Weird typo.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 3:15 p.m.

Sorry but you're pretending to know about something which you clearly know nothing about. Ignorance is not as good as knowledge. You need to study bicycle safety or stop pretending that you know anything about it.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 12:31 p.m.

How much do you think that a little paint costs? This is trivial compared to most of the maintenance costs on the road.

Did you read my first post? These markers merely make rights that bicyclists ALREADY HAD more clear to everyone.

Whose fault is it that you don't know the rules of the road?

Whose fault is it that you don't understand the principles of bicycle safety?

http://www.sdcbc.org/classes.htm#1 http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/courses.php#101 http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm Effective Cycling by John Forester, ISBN 0262560704 Cyclecraft by John Franklin, ISBN 0117064769

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 3:13 p.m.

Controlling the lane is a safety technique that has been proven for decades now. I gave you links to classes and a link to a safety site and ISBN's for two books that all say the exact same thing. Controlling the lane is not a new idea.

If you think that it is, then that's only because you have never studied bicycle safety. I've given you the resources. Either go study or stop pretending that you know what you are talking about. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 5:34 p.m.

cordedpoodel, you're absolutely correct.

However, it's relatively rare that motorists actually have to wait as long as 15 seconds for a safe place to pass to open up. On multi-lane roads, all they have to do is change lanes. If they do that early enough, they shouldn't even have to slow down.

0

Visduh May 18, 2011 @ 3:16 p.m.

My first comment was delayed until some of the usual commenters had their say. One thing not mentioned is that while the cyclist usually comes out on the bad end of any car/bicycle contact, it is not always the fault of the auto driver. I've seen bike riders do some remarkably dumb things and then cuss out the car drivers. Those who obey the traffic laws, stop at stop signs and red traffic signals, signal turns and lane changes are the good guys. But many experienced cyclists blow stop signs and ride on the wrong side of the street to save a few seconds themselves. Yes, cars and bikes should and can share the road. Markings that tell cyclists the preferred routes are a good idea.

Can someone tell me just what viewer said in that last post? And in the three posts above that one?

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 5:37 p.m.

Motorists often don't see bicyclists in broad daylight.

Bicyclists who have learned proper safety techniques, like controlling the lane make themselves a lot more visible and a lot more noticeable.

You can't not notice a bicyclist in the middle of the lane in front of you.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 8:16 p.m.

Riding on the edge is dangerous.

By controlling the lane, I'm talking about the traffic lane. We're talking about sharrow markers here. Sharrow markers cannot be installed in a place that has a bike lane.

Sharrow markers are installed in places where there is no bike lane and the right most lane is too narrow to be safely shared -- usually because of parallel parked cars though it could just be a regular narrow lane with no space for parking and not enough for a bike and a car to share. This is the situation where bicyclists should be controlling the lane for their own safety. Check out any of the safety references I posted. They all say the same thing.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 4:53 p.m.

Visduh, what does some bicyclists breaking the rules have to do with the installation of "sharrow" markers?

Why is it that any time there is a story about bicycles, some nitwit has to bring up the fact that some bicyclists break the rules sometimes? How is it any different than the dozens to hundreds of violations I see by motorists every single time I'm out on the road?

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 6:26 p.m.

Every single time I'm on the road, I see motorists speeding. I can look out the window of my office and watch how almost no motorists will stop at a stop sign unless there is cross traffic. Every time I'm on the road I see drivers pushing lights well past red, rolling right turn on red without stopping. I could go on and on.

The built-in lie of this complaint is that bicyclists are worse than motorists when it comes to obeying the law.

How are bicyclists any worse than motorists? A motorist is also far more likely to kill or seriously injure someone else or do a lot of very expensive property damage with their shenanigans. A bicyclist can't do anything close to the same amount of damage.

This is nothing but an attempt to rationalize the delusion that bicyclists shouldn't be on the road. It's basically dishonest.

And again, it has nothing to do with installing sharrow markers. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. It's just someone pushing their delusional anti-bike agenda because they can't bear the trivial inconvenience of moving over to pass a bicyclist once in a while.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 8:12 p.m.

I've ridden over 100000 miles in the last two and a half decades on the roads of San Diego. Most of it has been on major roads with plenty of traffic.

Somehow, I'm still alive.

I hardly ever have close calls and the few that I do have are from psycho drivers who think they're going to teach me a lesson for daring to ride in their road. I don't have accidental close calls.

Maybe if you bothered to learn proper bicycle safety (I posted several good references) then you would understand.

0

SurfPuppy619 May 18, 2011 @ 10:36 p.m.

I've ridden over 100000 miles in the last two and a half decades on the roads of San Diego. Most of it has been on major roads with plenty of traffic.

Somehow, I'm still alive.

================ Well I used to ride a LOT on the streets- until I was T-boned through no fault of my own, I had so many close calls I decided it was not worth the risk.

here you go Bill, this one is for you;

. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/17/local/me-doctor-bike17 .

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 10:49 p.m.

I followed the Thompson case very closely when it happened. I've been watching the news for collision stories for years.

A few bad stories does not a trend make. Yes, there are some truly psycho drivers out there, but having an incident like that is like getting hit by lighting. There's not much you can do about it except hide inside your home and never go out.

In 2009, over two MILLION people were injured in motor vehicles and over 28000 killed. In that same year, 51000 bicyclists were injured and 630 were killed.

The perception that bicycling is dangerous is based upon flawed logic and a lack of real information.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 10:52 p.m.

I forgot to mention that the reason you have a lot of close calls is that you don't know how to integrate with traffic properly. Most people don't know how to integrate with traffic properly on a bicycle. That's why there are classes and books on the subject. Take a class or do some reading. I posted the references.

0

Visduh May 18, 2011 @ 8:19 p.m.

Nothing I said can be construed as saying that bike riders are "worse" than auto drivers, or that they break more traffic laws. I just said that I've seen bike riders do some really dumb things and those things place them at high risk. Since the scales are tipped so far against the bike rider, I'd think they would take great pains not to place themselves at risk. Yet they do that, and when the collision occurs, who always comes out on the short end of the stick?

That was my philosophy when I rode a bike during the 70's and 80's. Maybe that's why I never had a dust up with a motor vehicle.

Cool the rhetoric, bill.

0

billdsd May 18, 2011 @ 10:54 p.m.

Sorry but I'm calling B.S. When the subject of bicycling in the road comes up and the subject has nothing to do with a bicyclist violating the law, and you feel the need to complain about bicyclists violating the law, you are trying to sow hatred towards bicyclists by portraying them as reckless scofflaws. It's just plain dishonest; not to mention not relevant to the subject of sharrows.

0

Visduh May 18, 2011 @ 8:12 p.m.

Railsplitter, bringing Dumanis into all these things is getting sort of . . . dare I say it . . . tiresome.

0

Twister May 18, 2011 @ 10:31 p.m.

I suspect that the "sharrow" symbols will increase safety more than they compromise it. There are exceptions to everything if one wants to cherry-pick cases or indulge in other fallacious "reasoning."

Being both a rider and a driver, I am acutely aware of the issues from both sides. There are unsafe drivers and there are unsafe bicyclists. I observe a lot of drivers doing things that are dangerous to bicyclists and I observe bicyclists doing a lot of things that endanger both themselves and others. For example, my wife was struck in a busy crosswalk by a bicyclist who was looking at his speedometer rather than the road. I recently observed a driver blow a solidly red light the other day; she was texting and didn't even look up even though I laid on my horn (after hitting my brakes) when I saw that she was not going to stop. She didn't even look up from her texting; I doubt that she even heard the horn.

Driving through southern France, I once came around a mountain curve to see a car in front of me following a bicycle going about three miles an hour uphill. The road was too narrow to pass safely. The driver was following at a safe distance from the bicyclist, just in case some American or other person with limited mental powers had failed to control his or her speed according to sight-distance. I followed for several minutes until the car in front was able to pass; later I was able to do so safely too. I was pleasantly surprise while driving in France; while traffic can be very fast on “freeways,” everyone observes road conditions and NEVER passes on the right—slower traffic always keeps to the right and moves over for faster traffic, sometimes exceeding 100 mph. I never felt unsafe and never once muttered or yelled (e.g., “Where’d you get your driver’s licence—Pep Boys?”) at another driver, and certainly had no reason to “flip them off.” Very few police were observed; the French seem to have a strong sense of responsibility and a high regard for the safety of others.

I ride well outside the reach of the doors of parked doors, but move over closer to the curb when there are no parked cars. I extend every possible courtesy to drivers and observe all traffic laws (but not to an absurd extent). Recently it was my turn to move from a four-way stop. The intersection did not have great sight distance, so I moved slowly forward in the left-turn lane. A bicyclist blew into the intersection from the left; he was so far to the right that he was not visible behind the parked cars. I hit the brakes so hard my cargo went flying; the bicyclist turned and gave me the finger, thus unable to see a pedestrian he almost hit trying to cross in the crosswalk to the right.

These are “cherry-picked” cases, of course, and not intended to indict all bicyclists or all drivers. But they are factual examples and not uncommon.

0

Twister May 18, 2011 @ 10:32 p.m.

If the “sharrows” accomplish nothing else, I hope they will discourage bicyclists from riding against traffic, but they also serve as a reminder to drivers that bicyclists might be present.

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close