The latest phase of LADOT Bikeways’ Sharrows pilot project is now complete. Sharrows were installed this weekend along Abbot Kinney Boulevard from Main Street to Venice Boulevard. As the last of six pilot project sites, these Sharrows stretch 7/10 of a mile on one of the busiest and most iconic roads in the Westside.
(Ed. note: A big “Thank you” to Aurora Tang, fellow USC grad student and member of the Center for Land Use Interpretation. She took the time to photograph the new Sharrows. LADOT Bike Blog is, admittedly, an eastsider…)
Abbot Kinney has the most unique street configuration (called “geometry” in transportation-planner speak) of all the Sharrows pilot project sites. There is a single travel lane in each direction on Abbot Kinney, but the boulevard also has a median between the two lanes that contain left-turn pockets.
This particular street configuration may work extremely well. Since there is a median between the two traffic lanes, there is plenty of room for motorists to comfortably pass a bicyclist riding outside of the door zone. Moreover, this area of Los Angeles has already become quite used to large numbers of bicyclists over the years, suggesting drivers will take this new piece of bicycle infrastructure in stride. Biking in LA also has a great write-up on the new Sharrows.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is an iconic Los Angeles street that carries a lot of cultural and emotional significance. Originally a canal during the heyday of the City of Venice, Abbot Kinney’s transition into a street designed for car travel after Venice’s annexation by the City of Los Angeles in 1925 mirrored Los Angeles’ overall transition to car culture following World War II. Putting Sharrows on such a visible, well known, and well traveled boulevard is a bold statement that Los Angeles is re-evaluating the role that alternative forms of transportation play in our city.
Next up for the Sharrows, now that installation is complete, are studies of all six pilot project sites. The results gathered will be analyzed and compared with the pre-installation studies conducted earlier this summer at the same sites. After this analysis, Bikeways will be in a position to make recommendations on the implementation of Sharrows in Los Angeles based on hard evidence.