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Long Beach Launches Bicycle Sharrows with a 'Green Lane'

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Last week Long Beach did something that, by all appearances, no other city has ever done: they painted sharrows--a common practice to educate motorists that bicyclists get to legally share the road--with a five-foot green lane--a new and inventive way to grab everyone's attention and help cyclists stay out of the door zone.

The .6 miles lane runs along both sides of 2nd Street in Belmont Shore between Livingston Drive to Bay Shore Avenue. While it may appear to some that cars cannot share that green lane, that's far from the truth. "All we're doing is expressing existing laws on the street," Charlie Gandy, Long Beach's mobility coordinator, told the LA Newspaper Group.

Bicyclest and blogger Russ Roca, who received an erroneous ticket for riding on 2nd street that jump started this project just four months ago, echoes that notion, too. "I do like the sharrow/stripe treatment very much, but it must be emphasized that they do nothing to change the laws that govern the road," he wrote on his blog. "They merely show where it is safe to ride. In essence, EVERY road in the city of Long Beach should be ridden as if you had a sharrow/green stripe."