Cycling Claremont: The Sharrows of Scottsbluff and Radcliffe

Love 'em, or hate 'em? Do you think they make street safer for bicyclists? Do they encourage more people to get out on a bike? Or, are they gratuitous? I don't think we will reach consensus any time soon. What ever your opinion, Radcliffe (top) and Scottsbluff, have become the two most recent streets in town to acquire their sharrow markings.

You may recall from a January post that preliminary markings (two parallel dashed lines on each side of the street), had all the appearance of typical door-zone bike lanes. Obviously that was changed at some point, resulting in what you see - a parking lane stripe, and sharrow symbols.

The interesting thing about them is that the two streets were among those scheduled for speed limit increases, if you recall, due to the 85th percentile rule. I leave it up to you to decide how much of the design was for the benefit of bicyclists, and how much was intended to help contain the speeds of passing motorists. Why yes, you are correct, lower speeds do benefit cyclists. So maybe it isn't a case of all of one, and none of the other. Maybe, and even if the original intent was to prevent the necessity of raising speeds, that goal itself increases our safety. Do you feel like you have become an unwitting part in a social experiment yet? 

I am still waiting for the first driver to yell at me to move my a** into the bike lane, as they mis-interpret the white stripe. There is another street in town with a similar parking lane - Berkeley - though it does not have sharrow markings. All things being equal, it should. A "gracious" driver once did "suggest" I use the bike lane there, not realizing that "bike lane" stripe marks out the space for parked vehicles, and not a space for bicyclists. It seems to me that if we are going to mark one street or, in this case, two streets in such a manner it needs to be done consistently throughout the city, otherwise it simply generates confusion. 


Comments

  1. Amen to consistency. I do not like the parking lane stripes because it is very confusing to both cyclists and drivers. Theoretically a cyclist should ride outside of these lines as though cars were parked there but drivers do not understand this. I say put bike lanes in place of the parking lane stripes. Better yet ban all on street car parking but that is asking too much or is it.
    Gino

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  2. I would choose gratuitous. Just drove on Radcliffe and thought it was a major marking blunder. Thanks for your clarification, just wonder if other drivers are willing to research? Rules or not the cyclist usually ends up loosing in a conflict with a 3,000lb vehicle. I will choose to place myself as far away from them as safely permits no matter what the markings. Also, there are parts of this roadway where I have never seen a car parked on the street in the 15 years I have lived in the city.

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