Friday, March 25, 2011

Part 1: Request for Sharrows on Cliff Drive Submitted to PTC of Laguna Beach

As part of the establishment of Complete Streets to Laguna Beach, we will report on the following request as it goes through "the established system" of the city and mark its progress through this blog.

Click here to make a submission to the PTC, using the required form.

DATE OF SUBMISSION: March 23, 2011
SUBMITTED TO PTC (Parking Traffic and Circulation Committee)

Cliff Dr. beginning at Broadway through to intersection with PCH

I commute to work 5 days a week by bicycle, and this busy intersection is part of the ONLY safe, legal route for me to get home at night.  Other than traveling on PCH, a far more dangerous route for cyclists, Cliff Dr. is the ONLY other way to travel through North Laguna on a bicycle - or car for that matter. Many recreational riders use this route when heading north through the city from Laguna Canyon to PCH or from downtown and points south.  Traffic moves very quickly through here with high-speed traffic exiting Broadway St. onto Cliff Dr.  There is a bottleneck created by the solid “triangle” divider, where it’s easy for cyclists to be forced into a narrow lane if a motorist attempts to pass in the wrong place.  When Cliff Dr. becomes lanes in both directions (at top of Beach st.), the on-street parking pinches the lanes narrow again.  This makes it difficult for motorists to pass a cyclist without interfering with the oncoming traffic lane, even if that cyclist is riding perilously close to the parked cars. The risk of a door swinging open is scary for a cyclist and is also capable of causing severe injury.

I'm proposing a small FIRST step, "sharrow" markings starting on Cliff Dr. at Broadway and continuing to the intersection of Cliff and PCH.  This is a simple, “bucket-of-paint solution” that is well within the requirements for safe streets required by state law.  “Sharrows” will do a great deal in increasing awareness among drivers that they should  respect the legal rights of cyclists and share the lane when necessary to help avoid unsafe conditions.  If that means that traffic will be slowed through there when bikes are present - so be it.  If motorists want speed, they can go to PCH!


  1. add a map of the route in question?

  2. I think right now Laguna has no sharrows anywhere, I believe there is an actual policy against implementing any new bike infrastructure including sharrows. It's still worth writing this letter, but so far I have gotten zero traction for letters I written to Laguna to improve bike infra on PCH or Laguna Canyon, some finger pointing towards calTrans, who'll point it right back at Laguna, but thats it. We need new bike friendly city council in Laguna ASAP.

  3. Correct, there are no sharrows and there are no bike-lanes anywhere in Laguna Beach. The lanes from neighboring cities Dana Point, CDM and Canyon roads all terminate at the Laguna city limits. There is new legislation for cities (AB-1358) and Caltrans (DD-64) to comply with complete streets policy, despite that the city digs-in it's heals to resist policy change. Want to change policy? Then show your support and attend the public meetings for complete streets, second Tuesday at 4:00pm Senior Center, LB.

  4. This is a Google Maps link illustrating the proposed sharrow route. Sharrows should be in place from downtown to get onto Broadway and exit onto Cliff Dr.


  5. Sharrows convey no new rights on bicyclists, only remind bicyclists and drivers alike that streets are public places open to equally to ALL users.
    LB city gov't may fear the outcry from residents or local business owners worried that bikes may suddenly flood the city streets and, heaven forbid!, slow down the car traffic.
    Those fears are pointless-- Laguna already gets 100% of the bicycle traffic between inland and North OC traveling to South OC.
    Wake up Laguna Beach. Bicyclists aren't going away, we are a growing minority of road users. Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, San Clemente all are working responsibly to incorporate non-motorized vehicles in the traffic mix.
    How ironic! Laguna Beach, long the bastion of liberal, granola crunching, whale saving Earthiness, backwardly rejecting human powered travel. Get with it.
    Step 1: sharrows on Cliff Dr. Man up. Make it so.