Motorists in Santa Monica now have a visual reminder to share the road with bicyclists with a new marking on the street known as a shared lane arrow, or “sharrow.”
The street marking, which is a white graphic that combines the classic pictogram of a bicycle with two arrows, was recently installed on 14th Street between Montana and Washington avenues.
San Francisco was the first city in the United States to use these markings and since then many cities, including Los Angeles and Long Beach have installed them.
The sharrow aims to reinforce the rights of bicyclists to use the roadway as granted by the California Vehicle Code. It is used to assist bicyclists with positioning on the street where parallel parking exists but there is not enough room for a dedicated bicycle lane.
By indicating a safe distance from both moving traffic and parked cars, sharrows can be helpful in reducing collisions between cars and bikes, city transportation officials said. The marker also alerts motorists of the location a bicyclist may occupy within the roadway.
The 14th Street sharrows connect to the bicycle lane on Montana Avenue and are anticipated to connect to a planned bicycle lane on 14th Street south of Washington Avenue. The sharrows were installed as part of regularly scheduled street maintenance.
By incorporating bicycle facilities into these ongoing projects, the city saves money, while continuously building out the citywide bicycle network as envisioned in the Land Use and Circulation Element, transportation officials said.
Other efforts to promote cycling and reduce automobile trips include the addition of a bicycle lane on Arizona Avenue west of Lincoln Boulevard, providing a continuous lane from 26th Street to Ocean Avenue and the installation of new bicycle detection technology at signalized intersections. The 46th Santa Monica intersection to include bicycle detection, which allows bicycles positioned at a red light to trigger the signal to turn green, is scheduled to be installed this summer and markings indicating where bicyclists should wait at intersections will be installed next.
In addition, the city provides innovative services to encourage cycling, such as the Bike Valet Program.
To access the city’s bicycle map and for other cycling resources, www.smgov.net/bikesm/.