Friday, May 15, 2009

A Letter to Councilman Delong RE Sharrows

Dear Councilman Delong and Anne,
I saw the post in LBPost this morning regarding the sharrows on 2nd. I don't think this is in the city's plan when they roll it out, but I really would like you to communicate that all lanes are sharable lanes by bikes (as per CVC 21200) and the "sharrow" adds no special privileges to bikes nor does it strip any rights from motorists. You will hear a lot of flack from motorists asking why cyclists are getting "special rights" on that street. They're not.

It ONLY makes visible the California Vehicle Code which already allows for bikes to legally be on the road. Bikes already have the right to ride where the sharrows will be, this special striping is only a really loud visual indicator of this and invites bikes to use the road (which they can legally do).

What is frustrating, is I was riding EXACTLY where the sharrows would be when I received my ticket. I even tried explaining this to the citing police officer that there were going to be sharrows in a few months (not that would have affected the legality of what I was doing) and he didn't care.

I guess, what I am asking is that when you begin your roll out, you really explain this point. Nothing is being taken away from motorists. It's a right that has always been there. Otherwise, as a cyclist, I will no doubt be the subject of ire and abuse. Further, I would ask that you please ask the city to devote some funds and resources to educating law enforcement and public about the rights of cyclists. This will have a much more PROFOUND and lasting effect on whether a city is bicycle friendly or not. If the police had been educated, I would have not received the complete and utterly incorrect ticket I did get.

As a post-script. Nothing has happened regarding my ticket. I'm still waiting to hear from Lt. Levy and Gray Morrison from PD.


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