Number of Encinitas streets could get ‘sharrows’

Number of Encinitas streets could get ‘sharrows’
The Encinitas Traffic and Public Safety Commission is requesting a list of streets that could see new striping to accommodate bicycle safety. Both sides of Coast Highway 101 are being considered. Photo by Tony Cagala

ENCINITAS — Dozens of streets in Encinitas could be re-striped to accommodate bicycle traffic, according to a plan discussed at the Traffic and Public Safety Commission meeting this week.

The commission voted unanimously for the city’s public works staff to return with a list of roads they intend to stripe for bicycle traffic, and the type of striping that will occur on the streets.

In some cases where the road is wide enough to accommodate it, the striping will create a dedicated bicycle lane. The width of the bike lane in most places will be six feet. On streets not wide enough for a dedicated lane, crews will paint symbols on the roadway to indicate where motorists share the road with bicyclists, known as “sharrows.”

The impetus of the re-striping project was the City Council’s recent approval of a large pavement overlay project, which gives the city the chance to re-stripe certain stretches of road that currently don’t have bike paths.

As part of the project, the contractor was awarded $75,000 to add bike lane striping to streets not include in the overlay project but are included in the city’s bikeway master plan.

Among the streets being considered for bike lanes or sharrows are stretches of Manchester Avenue, South Coast Highway 101, North Coast Highway 101, Vulcan Avenue, San Elijo Avenue, Leucadia Boulevard, Encinitas Boulevard, Quail Gardens Drive and El Camino Real.

The Traffic and Public Safety Commission on Aug. 8 expressed support for striping as many streets as possible, but also said they did not want the bike lanes to eliminate any street parking.

As part of the creation of bicycle lanes, travel lane widths on some streets will be narrowed to 11 feet, but city staff will address that on a street-by-street basis.

Several speakers addressed the commission on this topic, saying that the narrowing of lane widths goes hand-in-hand with the creation of bike lanes.

“With the application of inexpensive paint we can narrow those travel lanes to create an environment that will embraced by multi-modal travel,” said Elena Thompson, a real estate agent in Leucadia who is involved with several local advocacy groups, including Bike-Walk Encinitas.

Leslie Goldberg, who spoke to the commission in March during their discussion of the creation of a “complete streets” policy about the possibility of a lane diet, reiterated some of her remarks at the Aug. 8 meeting.

“I think in Encinitas we can have it all,” Goldberg said. “We can have bike lanes, accommodate traffic and accommodate parking as well.

9 Comments
  1. jeffery laudenslager 11 months ago

    I would like to see this examined a bit further and make a point of getting a diverse set of opinions from the community. While there are certainly benefits to Encinitas, an over exuberance in this quest for “sharing” will bring along it’s own set of difficulties and problems. Not all of this new concept is being applied with equal skill, as can be seen by driving the 101 Coast Hwy from Del Mar to Oceanside. There are some really strange configurations of road sharing strategies and a seriously ill considered mess of “transitions” from one situation to another. After all – these roads were originally designed for cars and parking, so re-configuring now should take on a very considered and cautious approach.

    Make it good for all the community.

  2. Lena 11 months ago

    This is nuts. Thousands of cars vs. hundreds of bicycles… Everyday I see traffic backed up as far as I can see, and a few bicycles cruising past. Why can’t cyclist use the neighborhood streets, such as Neptune, Summit, Rubenstein, which are quieter and prettier. Our traffic problems go deep, and ill conceived circles, and shared lanes are a drop in the proverbial bucket.

  3. Nicole 11 months ago

    Very excited for safer and more comfortable places to ride. Thank you Encinitas for supporting bike travel and all the benefits of commuting by bike. Repurposing the streets with resurfacing efforts makes a lot of sense. Keep up the great work Encinitas!

  4. concernedcitizen 11 months ago

    Please post photos with the bikes and cars sharing the car travel lanes. The city staff report also mentioned Santa Fe Drive for sharrows or the combining of cars and bikes into one lane. Residents will get a better idea of the idea of having bikes surrounding their cars as they drive down the streets in Encinitas.

  5. La 11 months ago

    It is a good suggestion to move the bicyclists to neighborhood streets or less traveled streets. I do not understand why the sharrow lanes cannot be directed to some of these areas. It is also safer for the cyclists. In the main arteries you are speaking of changing, traffic will be impeded and businesses will suffer, particularly in the Downtown and El Camino Real area. Remember, the business community is what drives our great city. Most bicyclists are not stopping to shop.
    Tax dollars are important for the city. I urge you to please think ahead about where you decide to “paint” these lanes. The traffic here is already more than we anticipated, so to slow it down with road diets and sharrow lanes is not a great idea in my opinion.

  6. Encinitas Business Owner 11 months ago

    I am so glad they are making the streets of Encinitas safer and easier for people that ride bikes! Keep up the good work!

    To the previous commenter, in a sharrow lane, the bikes get to use the entire width of the lane, and the cars must stay at least 3 feet from the bikes in all directions, so it’s not really like you car is “surrounded” by bicycles.

  7. Al 11 months ago

    NUTS!!! That what this is. And this is only the beginning that will go the way of what I saw daily in Boulder, CO. That city has a fantasy about like “everybody” riding bikes to work & everywhere else. They want to believe the ageing population will bike in the hot summertime, the freezing winter snowy days & nights, and also the rainy days. The worst thing is that they want to & do belief in their own lies. The local daily newspaper reported that it’s a WAR BETWEEN BICYCLISTS & DRIVERS! That how bad it can it be? That mindset is creeping in here. It’s universally acknowledged that traffic here is horrible, but does our local government care at all about that? NO!!! They want tax revenue no matter what! Why? To play god in their little drama sandlot. All cities that I know are like this. Yesterday leaving from the Coast Hwy. I made an emergency bypass to avoid the ever growing “parking lot” of cars wanting to get to the I-5. Where’s the City Council in dealing with that? AWOL – absent without leave. They just want more…of everything! More building construction, denser population, less open space, more expensive dwellings especially bigger & bigger and also more condos. One thing I know about city government is that they lie, like how they say they’re only building at a slow pace of “growth” but the reality is & what they might say to you as a close friend is that that’s just the biggest lie & they want as much land as possible & as many big boxes for their tax revenues. Think they care about anybody’s charming little community & it’s citizens? Hah! Look at the Carlsbad City Council & that whole big mess of “pay for play”. So attracting more & more bicycle traffic that is not paid for by those users in taxes, is like having bicycle races & running races – it appeals to the corporate business to attract employees that will have to pay more & more for rent or to own. Which results in traffic into desirable places like Encinitas (& Carlsbad, etc.) in the mornings & out to commute back to their more moderate priced dwellings. And that’s a crazy heated-up race. Bicyclist will be in dangerous accidents more often & they’re be more & more demanding & more loud, arrogant & politically correct. We need more & better roads with more lanes for ALL to use (not just for those who pay extra). If ‘sharrows’ are wanted by & for the bicyclist, let them pay for it without degrading those who drive motor vehicles. We already pay so much for gas taxes, car registration/driver license, property taxes, income taxes, etc. More & more the billionaires will drive out the millionaires. Is that where you want to live? Charming. Or maybe not.

  8. Denys 11 months ago

    I support the concept of providing more bike lanes/paths and shared space, however, I also feel it needs to be well thought out. Just as cars are discouraged from some routes by installing speed bumps bikes need to be encouraged to take routes that are not only safe but also minimize the impact on residential areas.

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