20 Miles of Sharrows in One Weekend…More Facts and Figures from LADOT

Photo of the new Sharrows on Arden: ##http://www.bikecommutenews.com/##Joe Anthony/Bike Commute News##

Last weekend, in an impressive display of what LADOT can do on city streets when it puts its mind to it, 4 teams of LADOT employees spread out throughout the city and placed 803 Sharrows over 20.61 miles of city streets.

LADOT caused some controversy when it announced it would include these Sharrows as part of its commitment to “40 miles of bike infrastructure every year.”  Including those Sharrows with other infrastructure, mostly bike lanes, that have been installed LADOT has installed 30.3 miles of bike facilities since the fiscal year started on July 1.

Starting last Friday night at 9:00 P.M., the first crew took to the streets with the last one starting at 2:00 A.M. on Saturday morning.  Crews worked around the clock until the 803’rd Sharrow was placed on the ground at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday.

LADOT lays out the case for Sharrows both at the LADOT Bike Blog and a Fact Sheet (available here) handed out at this morning’s CicLAvia press conference.  The Bike Blog adds that some Sharrows made the final list that weren’t on the original list in part so that there would be some Sharrows on the CicLAvia route.

There has been criticism of the Sharrows list both on the LADOT Bike Blog comments section and by Joe Linton at the L.A. Eco-Village blog.  The main concerns are that Sharrows are being used in places that would better suit bike lanes, cycle tracks or more progressive infrastructure and that LADOT is backing off its commitment to implementing 40 miles of infrastructure from the Bike Plan if they count these Sharrows which weren’t part of the plan back in March.  For its part, LADOT claims it still plans to implement the Bike Plan as quickly as it can and that it won’t be limited to 40 miles of infrastructure, even if that number includes these Sharrows.

  • One mile of sharrows doesn’t count as a mile of bike facility implemented. The Bike Plan is very specific – “Bike Friendly Streets” are minimum of THREE treatments – sharrows, signs, traffic calming, signal treatments… so just doing sharrows is a big INCOMPLETE.

    If the Mayor and LADOT are serious about bicycle facilities, they need to do real full-fledged facilties – not incompletes. Wasting time doing a bunch of sharrows just gets them behind on the five-year implementation plan. It’s frankly disturbing to me how many of these sharrows went down on streets that were either a) approved for more than sharrows in the Bike Plan, and/or b) have sufficient width for bike lanes. It’s really disrespectful to see the city throw the bike plan in the trash less than 7 months after approving it.

  • Alex Thompson

    What – you don’t think 0.06 miles should count!  What’s wrong with you?  I love the 0.3 miles of sharrows they added in my neighborhood!  They take 60 seconds to ride and then so I just ride up and down them 30 times to get a good work out!

  • Eric B

    Damien, can you include in your reporting what facilities were planned for these 20 miles according to the approved Bike Plan?  Also, were any of these streets part of the 5-year plan (and therefore now have different facilities than they should)?

    JSK creates public plazas with paint overnight in New York.  We paint pictures of bikes for motorists to drive over.

  • Rach Stevenson

    Having read Joe’s analysis earlier this year, I have to say this smacks of a PR stunt.  Funny how LADOT was really hesitant to install sharrows (they’re so slippery!) until they realized it’s a quick and dirty way to reach their goal of 40 miles of bikeways per year.  Bike lanes please.

  • Rach Stevenson

    Having read Joe’s analysis earlier this year, I have to say this smacks of a PR stunt.  Funny how LADOT was really hesitant to install sharrows (they’re so slippery!) until they realized it’s a quick and dirty way to reach their goal of 40 miles of bikeways per year.  Bike lanes please.

  • Dennis Hindman

    I can just hear the conversation now…Honey! Get the bikes and little Ricky, they’ve finally painted some bicycles on the street, so now we can go out and ride in front of the cars.

  • Eric B

    If LADOT had built any trust at all within the community, this would be a reasonable course of action.  In the current environment, I just can’t see that kind of progressive installation happening.

  • yah – the way LADOT plans to count, they could do 40 miles of sharrows (year 1), 40 miles of signage (year 2), 40 miles of traffic circles (year 3), 40 miles of intersection signal stuff (year 4)… and they meet a 40 miles a year target for 4 years, and only have 40 miles of facilities to show for it at the end of the day.

  • From the initial August 29th 2011 LADOT announcement (a few things changed –  like 15%-20% overall, I think – LADOT didn’t publish the new list until today – and, it seems inconsistent and doesn’t quite add up, but I haven’t gone over it closely yet), only 2 out of 22 were designated for just sharrows in the Bike Plan. Most of them were future bike lanes, some bike-friendly-streets. See my spreadsheet here:

    I’ll do some analysis after Sunday’s CicLAvia – for which you should all volunteer!!

  • @Eric B – if this was the “reasonable course of action” then it’s what the LADOT should have put in the Bike Plan – approved in March 2011. Why did we spend a long time analyzing and debating and negotiating a document that LADOT is ignoring.  It’s not reasonable for LADOT to bait and switch. It’s not reasonable for LADOT to undermine the implementation plan approved by City Council and Mayor.

  • Alex Thompson

    Dear Cycling Community,

    I heard you guys were stoked about some bike lanes on 7th St.  Good stuff.  And a Think Bike conference thingy, and a painted facility thingy and a whole bunch of miles of sharrows.  Great!

    Anyway, I had this idea that we’d set a higher standard in this city and produce integrated facilities built to the highest standards possible.  You know – make sure our facilities were really well connected and didn’t just look like a pile of picked over spaghetti.  Heck, I thought we’d even integrate our facilities with our programming.

    So I just wanted to mention that – I know you’re real busy giving kudos for that stuff I mentioned above.  That’s fine, enjoy that, you deserve it.  When you’re read for that next level stuff, you know sharrows that aren’t in or near the door zone and top notch arterials – give me call!


    Your friend,


  • @Eric B, the reason I didn’t do such an analysis is because Joe already did it at the linked to Eco-Village story.  I probably should have quoted it more than just saying it existed.

  • It seems that most of the community isn’t too thrilled by this development.  I’ve seen some commentary that’s positive, but for the most part it ranges from sarcastic to downright negative.  Outside of the LADOT Bike Blog, I think we’ve given it the best coverage here at Streetsblog and our coverage has been painfully neutral.

  • Anonymous

    But on the plus side, at least they worked “around the clock” meaning lots of overtime pay. That way you can install the least effective infrastructure for the highest possible cost! LADOT – FTW

  • grrlyrida

    All I know as a woman, I don’t ride Fountain as much as I use to. No amount of sharrows are going to get more women like myself riding on that street or any other. I prefer to dodge traffic on  Willoughby or Rosewood. It takes 15 minutes longer to get across town, but it’s worth it for my peace of mind.

  • Mumia Abu Guhmwall

    100 cans of white spray paint and a sheet of linoleum and I can triple the city’s sharrows in a week. Not that they do a damn thing to make streets with prima facia car speeds in excess of 20 mph any safer for bicyclists or pedestrians.

  • Mumia Abu Ghumwall

    Dear AT,

    Your criticism of others is so constant that nobody can tell when you’re speaking the truth or just ranting to soothe your own ego.

    I suggest sarcastic humor to win us all back. Earnest complaining only works for so long.

  • Anonymous

    Are these being accompanied by the (I think) recentl-approved-to-the-California-MUTCD “Bicycles may use entire lane” sign?

  • Alex Thompson

    Dear Mumia,

    That’s such a crock of shit.  “Your criticism of others” makes it sound like all I do is walk around all day and criticize.  And yet we had an amazing event at CicLAvia that drew a big crowd and some heavyweights.  You should have probably written “your criticism of others in your role as bike blogger and commenter.”  But that too would be wrong, because you forget about the praise I heaped on the bike plan during it’s passage, or the praise I’ve heaped on others in other contexts.  The praise I’ve given of Joe Linton for his criticism of others – is that praising criticism or critical praise.

    And you – you’re quite the critic yourself.

    Keep peddling that line of bull but no one who has met me in person buys it.

    Damien – I think the vocal bloggers aren’t happy, but there’s deafening silence from the organizations who use their email list more than their blog.


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