(Update: Shout out to LACM’s twitter feed for picking up our story!)
Expertly covered late last week by Biking in LA, the penultimate Sharrows pilot project site is now installed. Sharrows now stretch 1.3 miles along Westholme Avenue from Hilgard Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard. These new Sharrows create a strong infrastructural link between existing facilities in West L.A.
Westholme has long been a favorite bike route of UCLA students traveling to school from the bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard. Its northern end at Hilgard and Westholme are in close proximity to the Sharrows UCLA placed on their campus years ago. Continuing the educational trend, the Sharrows also go right by the Fairburn Avenue Elementary School. In addition to providing children a safer route to school, Sharrows should encourage slower and more alert driving from motorists on Westholme while passing through a school zone.
Westholme Avenue offers an interesting situation for Sharrows, as it is by far the narrowest street in the pilot project. In places, Westholme has a curb lane width of 17.5 feet. This is significant because a Sharrow positioned at 12 feet is almost dead-center in the travel lane of such a roadway.
Additionally, Westholme Avenue has been subject to other traffic-calming treatments in the past such as traffic circles replacing 4-way stop signs. For those supporting the creation of Bicycle Boulevards (called “Bicycle Friendly Streets” in the 2010 draft LA Bike Plan), Westholme offers the best glimpse at what may be possible in the future across Los Angeles. (Ed. Note: Don’t forget, LACBC is hosting a Bicycle Boulevard event for 4th Street on July 24th)
In the spirit of “gap closure”, the Westholme Sharrows offers a connection between the UCLA campus and the bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard. Once the pilot project is completed, this will hopefully become a viable model to connect different pieces of bicycle infrastructure when the intervening roadway cannot support bike lanes.
Only one more site is scheduled for the installation of Sharrows through the pilot project. Once that final site is installed, LADOT Bikeways will begin our post-installation study of the Sharrows markings. Afterward comes the analysis of all the data collected pre- and post-installation, followed by a report giving our full recommendations for the placement and positioning of Sharrows throughout Los Angeles.
It’s been quite a long ride, but we’re glad you’ve come along with us.