Sharrows are Here: a Report from Fountain Avenue

Friday June 11th marks a new beginning: LADOT is proud to unveil the first official Sharrows within the City of Los Angeles. Stenciled chevrons with bicycles will run along the pavement on Fountain Avenue from Western Avenue to Vermont Avenue. If you’re in the area, LADOT Bike Blog highly recommends you go check them out. Take a spin down Fountain Avenue, take a position in the center of the newly installed Sharrows, and enjoy a ride without fear of being doored.

Sharrows are official and they're here for you to ride

Installation of the Sharrows began immediately after the conclusion of Bikeways’ pre-Sharrows study on Wednesday. The first site is Fountain Avenue, a mile-long stretch of 2 lane road from Vermont Avenue to Western Avenue.

Fountain & Vermont, one end of the pilot route

Before the work crews began installation of Sharrows, their locations needed to be marked on the pavement. On Thursday, LADOT Bike Blog accompanied Bikeways staff as they set down the markers for the installation.

The CAMUTCD recommends that Sharrows be placed at intervals of 250 feet from each other, but the manual also allows for exceptions to be made depending on the layout of the street. When possible, Bikeways tried to space Sharrows at 250 feet, but the many cross streets and intersections along Fountain Avenue demanded that Sharrows be more closely spaced. When blocks were too short, Bikeways staff tried to fit a Sharrow at the beginning and end of each block. The intersection space, red curbs included, was roughly the same distance between Sharrows as one end of the block to the other.

The ends of blocks allowed even spacing of Sharrows

Bikeways staff is required, per the CAMUTCD, to place new Sharrows beside car parking. Since Sharrows are meant to keep bikes out of the door zone, it wouldn’t make much sense to install a Sharrow parallel to a driveway. To make sure the Sharrows were installed correctly, pre-installation markings were set down let the work crews know where to put in new Sharrows.

Sharrows go here

On Friday, work crews laid down each stencil in Thermoplastic along the one mile route while supervised by LADOT staff.

Stencils being arranged

Thermoplastic being applied

Scattering tiny glass beads across the drying Thermoplastic to make them reflective at night

Preparing to lay down the chevrons

Fountain Avenue is a fitting place for Sharrows to begin. This stretch of road is within Council District 13, represented by Council President Eric Garcetti. It was Council Motion 08-1723, introduced by Council President Garcetti and seconded by Council Member Ed Reyes back in June of 2008, that set the Sharrow pilot project in motion. Council President Garcetti even pitched in, helping to install the new Sharrows on Fountain himself.

Council President Garcetti doing his part

LADOT Bike Blog lauds Council President Garcetti for his role in the installation of such a deserved, and long time coming, piece of bicycle infrastructure. But Sharrows weren’t the product of one single person’s efforts, so LADOT Bike Blog would also like to thank the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) and all the other bicycle advocates whose tireless work over the last five years made today possible. Check back with LADOT Bike Blog over the coming weeks, as we will be sure to keep you updated on Sharrows installation at the other 5 pilot project sites.

The first complete Sharrow

We’ll add more pictures from today to the ladotbikeblog flickr account soon.

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