Bike Boulevards: The SLO Solution

2_5_10_reed2.jpgFor an image from a differnt angle, click on after the jump. Photo: Drew Reed

(editor’s note: Welcome our newest guest blogger, live from Long Beach, Drew Reed.  Reed is a writer, film editor, and cycling activist
based in Long Beach. He blogs about cycling issues in Long Beach and
the greater LA area at LA Loyalist.  We first met Drew when we interviewed him about his experience traveling the country to go to the inauguration of Barack Obama. – DN
)

San Luis Obispo, the central California town best know for its
wineries, cozy inns, and occasional rowdy Mardi Gras celebrations, has
quietly been building a reputation as a hub for bike-friendly
innovation on the Central Coast. The San Luis Obispo Bike Coalition has helped to install sharrows along busy Monterey Street, and runs a popular bike valet service every week. But perhaps the most unique piece of SLO’s bike infrastructure is its bike boulevard along Morro Street.

SLO is not the first city to install bike boulevards;
they have been used in Berkeley, Portland, and Vancouver. But what’s
significant about the Morro Street/Bill Roalman Bike Boulevard is its
effective bike-only intersection medians, which allow bikes to pass
while redirecting cars to turn onto the cross street. As opposed to
traffic circles and other traffic calming devices, the bike medians are
more effective at encouraging cars to use alternate routes, creating a
more bikeable street. Berkeley has some similar medians, but the
regularity with which they appear in San Luis Obispo greatly augments
their effect. They also provide an opportunity for prominent signage.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. With bike boulevards in the works for Long Beach and Pasadena, and the beloved 4th Street Bike Boulevard in Central LA slowly gaining ground, we should look how our Central Coast brethren have perfected their bike boulevard and do the same here.

2_5_10_reed.jpg
  • Evan

    Looks like the same picture to me.

  • Evan

    Thanks!

  • Jer

    This is what we need for the 4th St. Bicycle Boulevard.

  • Wow, thanks Alan. That’s as embarrassing a slip as an editor can make.

  • WE gotta get 4th STreet Bike Blvd. to happen. ASAP!!!!

  • Drew,

    Thanks for the positive comments about our bike boulevard here in SLO! We are always working to add better infrastructure for our bicyclists here within the county. There has already been a noticeable decrease in car traffic on the street, and families who live on it are extremely enthusiastic about their safer, quieter street as a result.

    Keep up the great posts, hopefully we’ll have more for your report on in the future!

    Leslie Bloom
    Outreach Manager
    SLO County Bicycle Coalition

  • Glad to see this post getting such good feedback from both LA and SLO. If anyone is interested, the SLO Bike Coalition Blog has more photos of the Morro St. Bike Blvd:

    http://slobikelane.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/slo-bike-boulevard/

    We’ll continue to look north for inspiration.

  • Sally L. Ehrmann

    This is just what is needed for Ohio Avenue in West los
    Angeles.

    It is a good idea for 4th street, also.

    What can be done about Rout 2, Santa Monica Blvd.,from east of Sepulveda to west of the 405? Maybe sharrows!

    Instead of an elevated roadway for the 405, how about an elevated train or an underground train?

    There is no need to encourage the use of cars.