Saturday, May 16, 2009

Open Letter to City regarding 2nd Street Sharrows

Inspired by the administration's new transparency, I have decided to make public my communiques with the city regarding bicycling infrastructure and bicycle programs within the city. This is done in an effort to show that I am actively trying to engage the city and give them input and to monitor how responsive they are to the input. Tony is Tony Cruz the city's Bicycle Ambassador, Sumi has been the city's ad hoc bicycle coordinator, Charlie is Charles Gandy, the city's new Mobility Coordinator.

Sent 05/15/09

Tony, Sumi, Charlie,
I've been communicating with DeLong's office re: the Sharrows on 2nd. I really urge that when you guys roll them out and do the press releases you make the following points very clear:

-those lanes were "sharable" by bikes before the sharrows were being put in
-the new sharrows do not take away any rights from motorists NOR do they give bicyclists any special rights, they are just very bold and large visual indicators that bikes can already be legally on the road and they invite cyclists that may not know that right to be on the road.
-the placement of the sharrows (presumably in the middle of the lane) is where the cyclist SHOULD ride, out of the door zone. (Will we have an opportunity to preview their placement to ensure they are indeed out of the door zone?)

Gary has said he has already gotten some blow back from some constituents, most likely because they feel like cyclists are being given special rights or an unfair allocation of road resources. I think to mitigate this response the existing road rights of cyclists should be discussed. This also will start to spread the idea that bikes are allowed on ALL streets in Long Beach (which is important because it will prevent others from getting unfair tickets).

I'm going to defer to Dan and Chris if they have anything to add, but I think we're all in agreement that it's important to note these things, so motorists understand that 1) we're not taking anything away from them 2)bikes are allowed to ride on roads where there isn't the benefit of sharrows as well.


Chris Quint is a regional cycling safety trainer for the League of American Bicyclists.

Received 05/16/09

I support Russ' suggestions for all the reasons stated. Road users of all kinds need to understand these issues so all know the rights and responsibilities we all share.

Chris Quint

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