Sharrows were installed this week on Reseda Boulevard in the Valley as the third of six locations this summer(listed by the LA Eco Village Blog). The Sharrows extend .8 miles from Vanowen Street to Valerio Street. LADOT Bikeways hopes to install bike lanes on Reseda to the north of the pilot site, as Reseda Boulevard north of Valerio Street has a curb lane width that would support bike lane installation.
Bikeways staff went out Tuesday afternoon to mark down the locations for future Sharrows.
The Sharrows pilot project on Reseda is a great example of “gap closure”, the practice of utilizing alternative bicycle infrastructure to connect existing bike lanes. Below Vanowen, bicycle lanes extend south along Reseda to the Orange Line Bike Path and from there up into Topanga State Park. To the north on Reseda, from Valerio to Devonshire, two separate bike lane projects are in different planning stages
- Devonshire to Parthenia is approved but is in final design stages before installation, and
- Parthenia to Valerio is in early design stages, awaiting approval. Interestingly, LADOT Bikeways proposes to use Sharrows in this bike lane project as well. Sharrows will be used to pass through a small section of the roadway that cannot currently support bike lanes.
The section of Reseda between Vanowen and Valerio, however, is too narrow to allow for installation of bicycle lanes without the removal of traffic lanes or parking spaces. By installing sharrows to connect these bicycle lane segments, LADOT Bikeways can provide infrastructure for bicyclists while waiting for the support needed to remove parking or traffic lanes so bike lanes can be extended.
While doing pre-installation studies along Reseda, almost every single bicyclist we saw was on the sidewalk. Hopefully, the installation of Sharrows will encourage these sidewalk riders to take their rightful place on the street while educating drivers to share the road with these bicyclists.