A contractor working for the City of Newport Beach (City) painted shared lane pavement markings, also known as “sharrows”, along East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar.
A sharrow is comprised of a bicycle symbol with two white chevrons above it indicating the bicyclist's required direction of travel. Sharrows can be painted on streets that have on-street parallel parking, are too narrow for a separate bike lane or shoulder, and where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less. They are placed in the traffic lane, to help bicyclists avoid “dooring”, a dangerous situation created when a car door is opened in front of a moving bicyclist. Sharrows also promote proper passing by vehicles and help to increase the visibility of bicyclists to approaching motorists.
Sharrows are different than bike lanes in that they aren’t used to set aside a section of the roadway for the exclusive use of bicyclists. They are instead used to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride and to help drivers to anticipate seeing and sharing the traffic lane with bicyclists.
The East Coast Highway installation is the second location that the City has painted sharrows. They can also be found along Bayside Drive between El Paseo and Carnation.
Sharrows are part of the City’s ongoing bicycle safety program. The City Council first formed a Citizen's Task Force on Bicycle Safety in late 2009 to help identify ways to improve bicycle safety in Newport Beach. The task force completed its work in May 2010 and the City Council then formed the Citizen's Bicycle Safety Committee in August of that year. The committee has conducted public outreach efforts and safe cycling education, and has developed a list recommended improvements to bicycle facilities throughout the City. A number of those improvements have been implemented. Please click here for more information.