I’ve written before about the sharrows Hermosa Beach painted on Hermosa Ave earlier this year and how much I like them. I continue to use them and I like them even more now. I feel safer when riding on Hermosa Ave and the cars on the road don’t seem to have any real problems going around me if they need to.
Since I stop at all the stop signs, I get a certain amount of respect from the vehicles I’m sharing the road with too.
I think a lot more streets should feature sharrows throughout Hermosa Beach and the newly resurfaced Upper Pier Ave is a good place to put them next. I think most of my friends in the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the Beach Cities Cycling Club agree with me.
My recent bicycle tour of Long Beach with their Mobility Coordinator extraordinaire, Charlie Gandy, further convinced me of the benefits of sharrows. Their green painted sharrow lane on 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore neighborhood produced 30% more cyclists with fewer crashes, 20% fewer cyclists riding on the sidewalk and a 50% reduction in car/bike crashes.
A big part of the reasons sharrows work so well in Long Beach is because of the great job they did educating their elected officials, the police force and the public. They made sure they got the word out, that people in the community understood what the rules were and what the benefits would be from working together. The result? Long Beach is fast on the way to becoming the most bicycle friendly city in California.
There’s no reason Hermosa Beach can’t follow that same sharrow story of success and indeed if Hermosa really wants to be taken seriously as a “Green Idea City” or wants to actually achieve carbon neutrality it’s going to need sharrows and a lot more bicycle infrastructure and friendliness to get there.
Step one to get there is for a strong bicyclist turnout for Wednesday (Oct 20) night’s public forum on Hermosa Beach Sharrows. Check out the details after the jump.