The Case for Sharrows in CdM [UPDATED]
Tonight the Newport Beach Bike Safety Committee voted 6-1 for Sharrows on Coast Hwy through Corona del Mar. More details at bikeNewportbeach.
The Newport Beach Bike Safety Committee takes up the case for Sharrows again — join us in the Friends Room at the Main Library on Avocado at 4:30pm Monday May 7th.
This video shows a common occurrence; cyclists, even skilled ones, tend to fear being overtaken from behind, so they ride far to the right — they discount what’s equally dangerous: an opening car door. The parallel parked cars on the right tend to be shoppers coming and going, less like cars parked in your neighborhood, so the likelihood of a car door opening unexpectedly should be a constant concern, but you’ll see these cyclists, like 90% of those traveling through CdM, flirt with disaster as they ride in the door zone.
Why is an opening door so dangerous? Think of the physics: you’ll hit hard and your momentum will throw you left into oncoming traffic which won’t have time to stop. Yeah, it’s creepy to imagine. The door zone is deadly.
Sharrows are only a safety feature. They don’t convey any new privileges to cyclists; we’re already allowed to ride in the center of the lane if there isn’t enough space for the bike and the car to fit safely. Sharrows will educate motorists to the fact that cyclists have this right. To pass the cyclist the motorist must change lanes, as you see in the video.
It’s easy to imagine that many motorists driving through CdM are frequent visitors; they’ll quickly learn to slow their speed and pass cyclists safely. It’s also easy to imagine that many motorists driving through CdM live somewhere in south county; by teaching them how to drive safely around cyclists here in CdM there’s a good chance they’ll take those skills home with them and drive more safely in their neighborhoods.
Tired of cyclists on the sidewalks? I hear complaints all the time! But can you blame them? Sharrows can help.
There’s a lot of good that can come from Sharrows; let’s give them a try.
Thanks to Brian DeSousa for the video.