After four years, many complaints, many praises, and a final acceptance that they really aren’t that bad, the green Sharrows in Belmont Shore have turned 4. And with that, data have been released so that we can figure out precisely what we’ve learned.
The Sharrows stretch along 2nd street in between Bayshore and Livingstone Drives along a street that is heavily commercial: With 15 blocks, there are 14 stop lights and a consistent push for parking that borders the intensity of hell sometimes. In other words, more than acting as a complete street, it acted as some vehicular arterial that welcomed pedestrians but forced bicyclists to dangerously roll along the sidewalk or uncomfortably ride in traffic untuned to their presence.
Hence the Sharrows which, according to Bike Long Beach, was created for three reasons: encourage bicyclists to ride the lane safely; reduce bicyclists on sidewalks to increase safety; and encourage bicycling on a larger scale.
But have they proven effective?
According to the data, somewhat yes. For the two and a half years prior to the Sharrows being installed—2007 to mid-2009—Belmont Shore had over 90 crashes of which nine involved bikes and two involved a pedestrian.
Following the Sharrows completion on June 25, 2009, there was a drop in overall collisions in 2010 and 2011—33 and 27 respectively—but a spike in bicyclist—4 and 6—as well as pedestrian collisions in 2011 with 3. Then it drops for 2012 drastically, with just 12 collisions overall and no bicyclist/ped-involved collisions. Read more…