Bike Lane FAIL: Door Zone Sharrows in San Jose

12 Jun

The bike route to the hospital is striped with good intentions. Bike lanes that suddenly disappear mid-block. The bike path that blindly crosses a busy road. Sharrows that guide you perfectly into the door zone. Like an ugly sweater from your Aunt Edna, you know they’re trying to please you. But it’s something you really can’t use.

Location: North 7th Street just north of Taylor Street in San Jose, California

What are Sharrows?Shared Roadway Bicycle Markings are intended to help bicyclists position themselves away from parked cars to avoid being struck by suddenly opened car doors, and to alert other road users to expect bicyclists to occupy travel lanes.” That’s the exact opposite of what these sharrows are doing.


Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Bike Lane FAIL


6 responses to “Bike Lane FAIL: Door Zone Sharrows in San Jose

  1. Ken from Northumbria

    June 12, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Isn’t it amazing how bike lane markings always disappear just where they are needed the most! I’m convinced road designers the world over have a “common sense” gene missing, some more than others.

    • ladyfleur

      June 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Here they mostly disappear at intersections where they give the road space to left or right pocket lanes. Bike lanes are prioritized lower than turn lanes that keep traffic (i.e. car traffic) from backing up.

  2. anniebikes

    June 12, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Might as well put the sharrows in the center of the lane. At least it’s more visible to all and an inexperienced cyclist won’t be tempted to ride to close to a parked car.

    • ladyfleur

      June 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

      Annie, the sharrows are supposed to be in the center of a lane like this where there are parked cars along the edge. Either the planners of the folks who installed them screwed up.

  3. greg

    June 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    They have the same problem in Burlingame, where I used to live. California drive, a major north / south route in town (and supposedly a “bike route”, according to the signs), has the sharrows painted right up against the parked cars, or the curb. Used to drive me crazy on my ride to caltrain. On top of that, it’s a wide, straight 4-lane road with a posted limit of 35mph and few stop lights or signs to slow anyone down. Basically the message it sends to cyclists is, “you can ride here, if you insist, but you’re taking your life in your hands.”

    • ladyfleur

      June 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      I used to ride down California Drive when my husband lived in San Mateo. It’s definitely no walk in the park, but there really aren’t other good options. Do you know if the sharrows are still there? I could see the one on 7th street from the Google satellite view.


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