Letting Go

The adhesive on our sharrows knows how to let go.  I’ll guess the city plowed maybe six times this winter, but still the sharrows disappear.  Disappear isn’t right.  They just move from where they were placed onto front lawns.  Two weeks ago, on a three block stretch of Lincoln Ave., I spotted a dozen or so sharrow bits on front lawns.  Today I pedaled that stretch again and picked up what was there.

I ended up with three heads, one point five wheels, two chevrons and various frame bits.  I understand the city intends to reapply these each year.  I wonder what that costs all in?  Parts and labor total $229 per sharrow in Portland.  That’s a lot of dough.  I’d rather it go to pay a firefighter’s salary or pension.  I wonder if people, as they see them more often, are learning what they mean.  Recently I was driving with an avid bicycle commuter who asked me what the markings meant.  Is there any hope?  It’d be nice if more people just shared the roads better without the signs.

Seventies today.  I pedaled to the garden to lay hose to the back gardens before people planted and then to the grocery.  Yesterday I pedaled to get Lacey’s framed Peppermint Patty latch hook.  My Burley trailer is getting a real workout!

The frame came out great.  Local?  I recommend Alacrity Frame Workshop.



4 responses to “Letting Go

  1. The sharrow thing has frustrated me since they put them in. I’m pro-sharrow. I wish they’d do a better job putting them in place, but I’ll take whatever we can get.

    I don’t understand why people don’t understand what they mean. I cannot imagine anything more clear.

    Education would solve a lot of confusion. But nobody is paying for that. It’s too bad there isn’t a local bicycle group interested in helping the city with educating road users.

    • Thanks for writing. I guess I am pro sharrow, too. With reservations. I agree education is key. If they haven’t already, the department of motor vehicles should drop a section into the drivers manual describing sharrows and that sharing means one after the other kind of sharing (not side by side sharing). For existing drivers (who are unlikely to see drivers manual), maybe a one time, or even once a year mass mailing to all albany residences. How much could that cost?

      While we’re at it, though, why stop with describing sharrows? Why not just tell people about NY Traffic Code Section 1234 (we can leave the right hand gutter if needed to avoid debris or turn left or if the lane is too narrow to share side by side with another vehicle. If we all knew that and used it appropriately, there’d be no need whatsoever for sharrows.

      In the end, I share the road with hundreds of careful and compassionate folks each day. Too bad one stinker can ruin a ride!

      Take care.

  2. Three heads! Our sharrows here in LA don’t have heads–they’re just bicycles tented by chevrons. They’re very detailed bicycles, though, including pedals and handlebars. It would be interesting to see all the different sharrow designs in use. I’m fond of your expressionist design.

    • Hello! I hope you are well. When I wrote this post, I was not a very good archeologist. Had I bothered to look at my own post on sharrows, I would have seen that I had harvested not two chevrons, but body parts and that the bike parts were chevrons. As shown in the link above, our sharrows don’t include bicycles at all. Just helmeted people, wheels and chevrons. Since I wrote this, I found an intact body two blocks from where the nearest sharrow had been placed. Anyway, good to hear from you. Safe pedaling.

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