Eyes on the Street: Bronson and Mirada

In August of 2010, the Bureau of Street Services repaved Westholme Avenue leading up to UCLA, demolishing the newly-installed and much touted Sharrows placed on the street.  After the grumbling was over and the Sharrows were re-installed, the Bureau of Street Services and LADOT promised that Sharrows wouldn’t get demolished in future road repavings.

Now we know what this promise looks like in practice.

The Bureau of Street Services has repaved a section of Sharrowed street on Bronson Avenue in Hollywood.   Stephen Box grabbed a couple of images so we can see how the Bureau of Street Services handled the repaving.


Bronson Avenue at La Mirada | Bronson between Fountain and La Mirada Photo: Stephen Box

As you can see, the Bureau of Street Services’ solution was to paint around the Sharrows, leaving small stretches of the road where bicycles will ride unpaved. Sometimes they left the Sharrows untouched, sometimes they accidently paved over part of them.

Streetsblog will email LADOT for comment. If there’s any news, we’ll let you know.

  • Mike Moskowitz

    What, they left patches of the street un-repaved? Doesn’t that leave the sharrow marks an inch lower than the rest of the street? Ready-made puddles and where the pot holes can start to grow…

  • Anonymous

    Sharrows are of practically no value anyway, and in my opinion a detriment to our common goals.

    Sharrows support driver’s misconception that cyclists are not allowed on roads without them (or a bike line); they provide no more safety than those stupid green “Bike Route” signs; and worst of all the LADOT is counting spraying a few of these “Sgt. Bike logos” on the street toward LA’s Pledge to paint 40 miles of bike lanes per year (as reported here: http://la.streetsblog.org/2012/01/19/l-a-city-adding-new-bikeways-will-they-reach-pledged-40-miles-by-june-30/ yesterday) !!!

  • James

    I should never have expected anything more from a city as profoundly stupid as LA.  

  • One small correction. Instead of reinstalling the sharrows on Westholme, the city sandblasted the new road surface to uncover the sharrows hidden beneath.

    That may have been the cheapest option, but it left a series of tattered and battered road markings behind, looking like they’ve already been on the street for several years. And making them that much less noticeable than more pristine markings in other locations.

    Then again, I’ve encountered few streets that need sharrows less than Westolme. A handful of wayfinding signs indicating it as a bike route would have been much cheaper and just as effective. 

    And the route north of Wilshire should have been shifted one block east to Thayer which eliminates the steep hill and delivers riders to the heart of the UCLA campus.

  • Groan… I guess they can re-do this section… but will they then count it twice toward getting to 40 miles pledged.

    What’s sad to me is that Bronson is actually really wide (it’s 60 feet wide – one through-car-lane in each direction – plus parking and turn lane) and there’s really clear bike movement here; nearly all cyclists are doing a quick right-left where the street jogs. I think that there should be a cool design treatment for this… like a green ribbon, or a bike left-turn-lane (a la the Wiggle in SF) or, at a bare minimum, even putting the sharrow in the left turn lane (a la downtown Santa Monica)… but LADOT put these sharrows 12′ from the curb… wholly formulaic and indifferent to the actual bicycle usage there.

  • LOLtastic.

  • RichardC

    I totally disagree with your first line- I think if anything they make the possible presence of cyclists everywhere more apparent- I don’t think anything about a sharrow indicates “cyclists must ride on this street and no others.” Periodic sharrows are probably less likely than bike lanes to send that message (because bike lanes more clearly demarcate space into “for bikes” and, in drivers’ minds, “not for bikes”).

    I generally find drivers to be marginally more understanding (or at least begrudgingly accepting) of me being in the middle of “their” lane if I’ve riding straight over the center of periodic sharrows. I think they have a place where the street is too narrow for lanes or other types of bikeways.

    Now, I’d agree with you 100% that sharrows should never be an excuse not to implement more substantial bike infrastructure.

  • Anonymous

    This looks like a slurry coat, which is a (cheaper) form of resurficing, but is not actual “repaving”.
    It will look good for about a year, but then the cracks will show through again.

    But the lesson we learn here is that paint is useless in terms of permanence.  Real cycling infrastructure requires curbing and raised bike lanes and other physical construction.  And the sooner these kinds of projects are made legal in California, the sooner we will see real changes in the mode share and overall street safety in our cities.

  • This certainly puts the BS in BSS. But if they’re really full of it they’ll spin these modifications as LA’s first-ever mid-street Bike Boxes, veritably impenetrable oases of safety.


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