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12/04/2010: "End to End!"
Glory be, the city of Los Angeles has finally finished applying sharrows to the rest of 4th Street!

Sharrow in Hancock Park
Click image for larger view
It's been only a week or so since I noticed the markings that indicate where sharrows are to go, and now here they are, stenciled down (however sloppily in some cases) with an alacrity we've not come to expect from the bureaucratic machinery of our burg, which seems forever stuck in granny gear.

Thank you, City of Los Angeles, LADOT, Bureau of Street Services, and anyone else who was involved in the momentous project of getting these clever blobs of paint onto the asphalt. Particular thanks to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, who has provided (and will continue to provide) polite but persistent nagging as well as considered enlightenment on matters of bicycle transportation in the nation's second-largest city.

It's a good start. It restates our statutory (and moral and financial) right to the roads, and it helps place less-experienced riders out of the door zone and away from curbside debris. But it is not yet the bicycle boulevard we envision.

Sharrow at Cochran
Click image for larger view
Traffic calming, traffic diverters, bulbouts, and some form of signal at Rossmore and at Highland are still necessary to make 4th a true bicycle boulevard, one that is comfortable for new, inexperienced, very young, or very old riders as well as the numerous commuters that whizz along it nowadays and make it, already, one of the roads most frequented by utility cyclists in the western part of LA. Not to mention strollers, dog walkers, porch sitters, neighborhood kids, and even neighborhood drivers, who will not have to jockey for road space with the massive SUVs that still use 4th as an alternate to Third Street a block away.

But we're getting closer. Fourth now has sharrows all the way from Hoover on the east to Cochran on the west, inviting cyclists of all persuasions to use it for getting to work, to school, to shopping, to visit friends, or just to enjoy a beautiful day.

Next project will be, I hope, rebuilding 4th and Hudson to eliminate the Hudson River, and repaving much of the rest of the western half of 4th Street, which currently resembles nothing so much as a warehouse district back alley--despite running through one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in LA.

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