LADOT: Sharrows on Abbot Kinney

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.

Installation is now complete!

(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.

An example of a median with 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.

From Biking in LA, Sharrows outside the door zone

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.

Alderbaren Canal (now Market Street) in happier days

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.

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0 replies
  1. Joe Linton
    Joe Linton says:

    “the boulevard also has a median between the two lanes that contain left-turn pockets”
    Hmmmm… the misplaced modifier strikes again – I don’t see any turn pockets contained in those two outer lanes.

    Reply
  2. bikerdude
    bikerdude says:

    I don’t think sharrows on the Westside is going to help bicyclists….the drivers on the Westside are angry and hostile to anything that slows them down. Plus they don’t want to share the road with bicycles, peds, or light rail. Granted having sharrows on the road, motorist are reminded that they are not the only roadway users and hopefully, greater acceptance of bicyclist using the road.

    The only thing that might work is separate designated bicycle facilities’ on the Westside.
    This means city council would have to take away street parking then you would have the business owners and NIMBY’s flip out!

    But after reading the bike plan, the use of smaller “Bike friendly streets” might work on the smaller Westside streets.
    Having more bicycle friendly streets and lanes for all people (children, bike commuters and parents) would be an important step for any community. A bicycle friendly street creates an attractive, convenient, and comfortable bicycling environment that is welcoming to all ages and skill levels. In essence, bicycle friendly streets are low-volume and low speed that have been optimized for bicycle and walking travel through treatments such as traffic calming and reduction, signage, pavement markings, and intersection crossing treatments.
    The city council and the mayor need to understand that more bicycle friendly streets in LA; would give confidence to parents, bicycle commuters and children to ride their bikes or walk to school, and other sites. With support from city council, the mayor, parents, and schools in City of Los Angeles this would make the streets of Los Angeles a more welcoming experience for the children, and adults who ride their bikes or walk.
    By lessening the “sea of asphalt” look like Abbott Kinny could create a traffic calming effect and the Westside could slow down.

    Reply
  3. Gina
    Gina says:

    The sharrow will help cyclists, motorists won’t get away with hitting them in marked streets… it will mean jail time and loss of drivers license.

    Reply
  4. Ben C
    Ben C says:

    Sharrows have also materialized on Westholme Ave between Santa Monica Blvd and (I think) Wilshire, on the Westside. I happened to encounter both the Abbott Kinney and Westholme sharrows the same day. So glad to see them, but the quality of the paint (or is it road thermoplastic?) seems incredibly shoddy. The edges of some of the stencils are upturned, not adhering to the asphalt.

    Reply
    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      Ben,
      Yes, sharrows were installed on Westholme the Friday before last. As with all other road markings in LA, the Sharrows pilot project used thermoplastic. They’re very durable and last much longer than paint. If there are any Sharrows that look improperly installed, send me a detailed email at ladotbikeblog (at) gmail (dot) com. Specific feedback is always helpful.

      Reply
  5. bikerdude
    bikerdude says:

    The State of California needs to do more to protect bicyclists on the streets by changing the laws on the books. The first one should be all cars, buses and trucks must give bicyclists 3 feet when passing. It a simple rule that even the cops, judges, and lawyers can understand. They get out the ruler and if it less then 3 feet they are guilty. Second law, if you hit someone with negligence on a bicycle you will be arrested and do jail time. Right now the law is not specific to bicyclists and the sentences for hitting a bicyclist is up to the judge’s discretion.

    By lobbying to change the laws in California this will give the bicyclist more protection and specific rights. I have written my state rep many times concerning these matters.

    The last time the 3 feet law want to the State for consideration the truck and bus lobby’s killed it. It didn’t even make it out of transportation committee in Sacramento to go to the State Assembly for a vote.

    Want to make changes to the laws, work on the bus, truck lobbyists and the cops. Then it might make it out of committee and it might pass. If the bicycle lobby gets as much power and money as the truckers and buses we can make some head way.

    I have seen a lot of positive changes that bicyclist are being recognized as legitimate users of the road, we just have to keep moving the agenda forward in a positive way. Hopefully, the barriers which divide us may crumble.

    Reply
  6. John Tink
    John Tink says:

    We need sharrows on Ohio Ave from S Westgate Ave to Kelton Ave. The drivers always honk (would rank as rudest area in Los Angeles) and the bike lane is super short. This is THE major throughway for bike traffic from Westwood to Santa Monica. So many UCLA students use this route.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] mom — he may be armed. LADOT Bike Blog notes the street geometry on Abbot Kinney should work well for sharrows. LAist looks at Mayor Villaraigosa’s bike-centric YouTube video; Curbed says the mayor shouted […]

  2. […] Sharrows Appear on Abbot Kinney (LADOT Bike Blog) […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Abbot Kinney Online, john harpster. john harpster said: BC I bike a lot.. http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/ladot-sharrows-on-abbot-kinney/: http://bit.ly/dlFRIM via @addthis […]

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