Eastchester Environmental Committee’s Chair and Westchester Cycle Club member Peter McCartt shared the following letter with me in regards to new “sharrows” painted on California Road in Eastchester.
Thursday July 1st, bicycle pictograms called a sharrow were painted along the full length of California Road from New Rochelle Road to White Plains Road/Rte 22. Eastchester is the first municipality in Westchester County to have these on the roads although they are prominent throughout New York City and most of the major metro regions around the country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_lane_marking
The Eastchester Traffic Division crew uses a large stencil to paint the first sharrow on California Road, photo submitted by Peter McCartt.
These strategically placed sharrows will help to create a bike route from the south end of Eastchester to the north. They are not painted every so many yards but only sparingly where there are decisions to be made by the biker on where to go and at current or future connection points such as at Manchester Road which leads directly to the Eastchester Middle and High Schools. See Word doc attachment for more info.
Further sharrows are planned to connect Calif Rd with Pondfield Rd, through to Midland Ave to Marbledale Road to Wilmot Road. East-West routes on the North and South ends and then North-South routes on the East and West sides, connecting with the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Bike Path and the established bike route across Wilmot Road to New Rochelle.
There are multiple benefits of these ideograms with safety for the motorist and bicyclist being the most important of course. These are a way for the motorist and bicyclist to have a communication, “I know you are there, let’s watch out for each other.” We are not possible to have bike lanes because our wonderful town is so mature, the roadway widths are established and there are few opportunities to widen them.
A “sharrow” biking symbol is visible as a bicyclist pedals along California Road in Eastchester July 2, 2010. These strategically placed symbols are placed help to create a bike route along various roads. ( Joe Larese / The Journal News )
Advocating for bicycle safety will help to increase bike use, bike use has many benefits also. We have a serious traffic congestion problem here, traffic jams mean the cars are on the road even longer, perhaps just idling. Promoting bike use helps with the health of the biker as well as the health of the environment. It also means the biker is going to frequent local shops before driving to Central Park Avenue or White Plains, helping out the Eastchester business community and therefore our tax base.
But then you all know this, I am preaching to the choir. Please help us to spread the good news. Check out some photos attached of the process this a.m.
Huge thank yous go to Supervisor Colavita for embracing and green-lighting this project, Bill O’Connell for being the biking brains behind this, the Eastchester Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee for their warm approval, the E.P.D. for their assistance and acceptance, the DPW – specifically Jimmy Luciano and Franco Battista and lastly to John Todaro for assisting in the shepherding of this through to completion of the first phase.
Anyone up for a ride to Lake Isle or Chester Heights? Please utilize California Road for your biking as much as possible – get back in that saddle!