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New bike lanes on Jefferson are nice for climbing, sharrows seem awful close to parking

I had a chance to ride in the new bike lanes on Jefferson between Broadway and 19th, and they were nice. Basically, there are sharrows on the downhill portions and a bike lane for climbing uphill.

However, I noticed the sharrows have been placed really close to the parked cars. Since this is a steep hill and there really should be no reason to need to pass a biker going downhill (unless you are speeding), I feel the sharrows should be placed towards the center of the lane to encourage the cyclists to take the full lane for these high speed downhills.

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When it comes to sharrows in Seattle, this post by Seattle Likes Bikes is mandatory reading. Basically, Seattle has a lot of poorly placed sharrows from several eras of bike infrastructure that actually encourage riding in unsafe street positions.

The new markings on Jefferson aren’t horrible or terribly unsafe or anything, and they are definitely an improvement. However, if these sharrows are within Seattle’s standards, perhaps these should be revisited so future markings are more centered.

NOTE: If you saw all those repeated paragraphs in this story earlier, blame the WordPress iPhone app and my novice mobile blogging skillz … Thanks to Adam from Seattle Transit Blog for letting me know.

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