Bike Committee Votes Yes on CdM Sharrows; City Council Likely to Discuss at Future Study Session

posted: May 7th, 2012 07:34 pm | 5Comments

Sharrows — marked lanes that remind motorists that bicycles may share the road — are back in the plans for Corona del Mar after a 6-1 vote at today’s Bicycle Safety Committee.

The possibility of adding sharrow markings along East Coast Highway had been a topic of discussion since December 2009, when the city’s Task Force on Cycling Safety first explored it. However, the cycling committee, which was formed after the task force expired, voted 2-2 in June 2011. While sharrows didn’t die completely and continued to be discussed from time to time, a few committee members were adamantly against them.

On Monday, however, one of the former opponents said he’d had a change of heart.

“I don’t have those reservations anymore,” Tony Petros told the group, describing a positive experience he had with sharrows last weekend in San Diego. “I’m a lot more comfortable now.” Previously, Petros had said that casual cyclists would be better off taking side roads instead of relying on sharrows to keep them safe.

Members discussed whether sharrows should be painted in another part of the city, but in the end they decided to propose to the City Council that East Coast Highway through Corona del Mar be the sharrows location. Currently, sharrows markings exist on Bayside Drive with mixed reaction.

“This horse has maybe one heartbeat left,” Petros said. “I think we know enough to make a recommendation” that Corona del Mar be the sharrows location.

Mayor Nancy Gardner, who is chairwoman of the committee, said she would draft a letter that the group could revise at its June meeting, and the letter then would go to City Council. Council likely would conduct a Study Session meeting to explore the proposal, which includes plans to promote and market the sharrows to cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

Committee member Sean Matsler, who had supported sharrows last time the group voted, said after the meeting that he was happy with the about-face decision.

“It’s great,” he said.

Committee member Denis LaBonge, who had voted against the sharrows before, dissented. During discussion, he expressed concern about locating sharrows along the heavily traveled East Coast Highway through Corona del Mar, and the need for a major educational outreach effort.

Read our earlier stories here and here,


5 Responses to “Bike Committee Votes Yes on CdM Sharrows; City Council Likely to Discuss at Future Study Session”

Comments

nancy

May 7th, 2012

we as a city are doing a LOT better at creating a safe environment for cyclists. While I still travel through the back streets of CDM when I need to get from the south end to MacArthur, once I am there, I feel like the re-painting of the bike lane really speaks to motorists. HOWEVER, we still PALE in comparison to many CA towns, and the emphasis still appears to be on what makes motorists happy instead of what makes cyclists safe. Both sides of the coin need to do their part in making this work. Cyclists still do a lot of stupid, arrogant things while riding our streets, making the cycling community as a whole look really bad. Encourage your cycling friends to be smart and street friendly. Motorists, please.Put down your phones (the law!) and have just a tad more patience with us cyclists. thanks

Dan

May 7th, 2012

I thought it was a bicycling not cycling committee. I think catering to a select group of people that whiz through our city is a waste of so many resources. On a side note, I am happy to see Frank Peters no longer has a column in this blog.

Matt

May 8th, 2012

Dan, I am a Newport Beach resident and cyclist. I do not whiz through our city, I ride my bike to locations in our city. I would do it more often, but I do not feel safe riding many of the on street routes through Newport. I support what the city is doing to promote cycling safety and support sharrows in CDM.

Jamie

May 8th, 2012

Well, I miss Franks column. I don't have anyone to insult on Saturday mornings now. However my blood pressure has gone down by 20 points. ;-) As for the committee, NO. I completely disagree with sharrows on PCH. This is a highly congested area (thanks to the "traffic calming) transited by tens of thousands of people a day. To block traffic lanes for a handful of recreational bicyclists is imbecilic. Also a committee completely comprised of bicycle advocates and bicycle business owners is not democracy. The new bike lane at PCH and Macaurthur is DANGEROUS to both bicyclists and motorists. Drivers transitioning from high speed MacArthur to moderate speeds on PCH are not expecting a bicycle traveling at 10mph to suddenly appear right directly in their blind spot in the middle of the highway. Someone is going to get killed here, mark my words. And this committee is going to be responsible for an accident resulting in some bicyclist getting killed or injured as a result of these sharrows. It is not the place for large numbers of bikes. Yes I know the vehicle code treats bikes the same as cars. Did anyone ever think that maybe the vehicle code is wrong and needs to be amended? Ride on side streets, WALK your bike across busy intersections. Use common sense while riding. In a bike vs car collission the bike is going to lose every single time. The two modes of transportation need to be separated not sharing (potentially) high speed traffic lanes.

Dan Palisades

May 8th, 2012

Formerly known as Dan. I enjoyed Frank Peter's articles. He is busy vacationing around the world.


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