Long Beach CA’s Innovative Bicycle Priority Lanes

Last December Sharrows were officially sanctioned in the 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices or MUTCD-the national standard for current road design practices. But even before these innovative bike symbols were endorsed two cities were already experimenting with an improved version. Long Beach CA and Salt Lake City UT have added a green paint strip to increase the visibility of a bicyclists and further define ideal road position for bikes in the right hand lane. Video: Russ Roca on YouTube

Note that the video features Charlie Gandy one of the elders of the bicycle advocacy movement who is now the Mobility Coordinator for the City of Long Beach. Long Beach City council has set a goalto become the most Bicycle Friendly City in America. A nebulous distinction, but I am sure they will settle for a platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community. The City is also the home of the first Bikestation.

The sharrow with green paint strip is an awkward description. Some have proposed that these enhanced shared lane markings be called bicycle priority lanes and are modeled after European advisory bike lanes.

Think of the possibilities that these lanes could offer for our narrow streets.