Mea Culpa: Long Beach Not First to Have Colored Shared Lane

7_6_09_bent_header.jpgAll Photos: bent

Last week, while reporting on the green, sharrowed travel lane in Long Beach, I wrote that to the best of my knowledge, this was the first lane of this type in America.  Thanks to commenter Dan Bergenthal, we discovered that Salt Lake City, UT announced their colored, sharrowed, lane in September of 2008.  Funding for the colored lanes comes from an FHWA bicycle safety pilot program.  Reports on the effects of these lanes will be completed in the fall of this year.

If these pictures, available after the jump, are any indication, we can expect the lane in Long Beach to look a little worn in the coming months but still make a clear statement about the rights and duties of cyclists and drivers on our streets. 

A special thanks to "bent" and "Dick Hussein Trickle" for taking their Friday lunch break to take some pictures for us.  If anyone out there has pictures of or experiences with colored, shared lanes from elsewhere in the country please leave a note in the comments section or email me at damien@streetsblog.org.

7_6_09_bent_2.jpgSignage makes clear that cyclists have full use of lane.

7_6_09_bent_bike_lane.jpgShared lane converts to bike lane.
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Well, if we change the plans a wee bit, LB can still have the first polka-dotted sharrows in the nation. C’mon guys, let’s do this!

  • I’m thrilled with your green sharrow lane!

    As a professor and researcher in transportation planning, I proposed the same idea in a paper I wrote last fall. You might enjoy reading it; it gives some background on why it’s needed, and relates it to “suggestion lanes” used in the Netherlands.

    I have also proposed a name for this lane-within-a-lane treatment, “bicycle priority lane.” My main point is that sharrows by themselves don’t get the desired effect. To really make cyclists understand that they can ride in the middle of the lane, and make motorists understand the same, it’s necessary for the “bike zone” to be designated by longitudinal markings. In Long Beach and Salt Lake, you do it very effectively with carpet coloring; I think it can also be done with parallel dashed lines.

    After I wrote my paper, which I distributed on the web in December, 2008, I learned that Salt Lake City had already implemented the concept, and updated my paper to include a reference to their work. I’m planning to submit this paper to the Transportation research Board for their Jan, 2009 annual meeting, and will be sure to update it to include your application.

    To see the January, 2009 version of the paper, see
    http://www.coe.neu.edu/transportation/bpl.html

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