Clifton Road Getting Bike Tattoos

By “bike tattoos” I actually mean “sharrows”.  What the heck’s a sharrow?  That’s a sharrow! —>

Diane sends in details about Clifton Road’s (from North Decatur Road to Briarcliff Road) newest bike-provement from Kathleen Sobush at the CDC…

There is a plan slated for implementation this summer to mark sharrows on Clifton Road and to install Bicycles Allowed Full Use of Lane signage (in accordance with Georgia code). A sharrow is an on street marking of a bicycle and two chevrons indicating the direction of travel as depicted below. There are standards guiding the placement of sharrows. They should be no more than 250 feet apart and no less than 4 feet from the curb. Within those standards there is room for adjustment based on the roadway conditions.

DeKalb County began marking locations on Clifton Road today for sharrows. CDC cyclists who use Clifton Road have been requested to provide comment on the planned locations currently marked by white chevrons on street.

Please let me know if you believe the locations currently marked on Clifton Road with white chevrons are

1. Appropriate as marked

2. Need to be modified

3. If you believe they need to be modified, please describe why and try to be specific regarding the location.

13 thoughts on “Clifton Road Getting Bike Tattoos”

  1. Marks This End Up.

    The steep grades in either direction from Peachtree Creek reduce the amount of bike traffic on that stretch of road.

    That said, I will be pleased to see these sharrows added. At least the Clifton Corridor Plan is being implemented.

  2. On a somewhat unrelated–but somewhat related!–note, I’m planning to partake in “Bike to Work” day in May. What’s the best/ safest/ bike-friendly route from Decatur to the Corporate Square area near the REI store off 85? Google maps (bicycling beta) has me going on Clairmont and N. Druid Hills, but I think there’ll be too many cars whizzing (and honking angrily) by me…

    1. KC, I’ve been a bicyclist for more than 30 years, and a resident of Decatur for 18 years. There isn’t a good back way to get from Decatur to around the REI store. My church is in that area, and when I’m going to bike up there, I just ride on Clairmont. There will be lots of cars, true, and some may honk. But if you ride in the road, signal your turns, and ride predictably, you’ll be fine.

      You can cut some of this out by going up Clifton to Houston Mill Road all the way to LaVista, and then look at a map and you can figure out some back streets to get you close to that Target.

      The problem with Houston Mill is that it’s got a b–tch of an uphill and is two lane, so a slow-moving bike will impede traffic far more than a bike will on Clairmont, where there are multiple lanes and sidewalks. (Riding a bike on a sidewalk isn’t legal in Georgia, although I doubt a cop would ever cite you for it. But it’s also problematic because you have to negotiate around pedestrians, watch for traffic exiting driveways, intersections and curbs. But if you do decide to go up Clairmont, you have to contend with that hill by the V.A.)

      If you get a good map and study it, you can probably figure out a way to get from Decatur to the REI area using residential streets. But you’ll have to have that map.

      I’ve pedaled up Clairmont many, many times without incident. I’ve also ridden on Buford Highway many times…again, that road has plenty of lanes for cars to pass you. It’s important to ride predictably, don’t pass cars on the right, don’t blow through stop signs, stay to the right–but not too far to the right–signal your turns, wear a helmet.

      Bikes are such a rare sight on those roads, bikes stand out. Cars notice you and go around you. I’m not gonna lie…some will yell at you to get off the road, or get on the sidewalk. I try to ignore them. Being an idiot doesn’t disqualify one for a Georgia Driver’s License.

      If you walk on sidewalks on a busy road, cars whiz by you all the time, but rarely ever hit pedestrians.

  3. I’m sure Dianne can help you. I was going to recommend Coventry to Clifton, to Briarcliff, to Shepards Ln, to LaVista, to BrookForest, to Beechhaven, to Sheridan, then wind through Executive Park to the I-85 access road. The worst park would be Clifton. LaVista and Briarcliff are only a couple hundred yard rides.
    And I ride in to work about 6:30 and leave close to 3. The forth dimension in cycle commuting physics is time.

    1. I think Sage’s route isn’t bad. I wasn’t sure where Executive Park is, but Sage may.
      I agree, you’ve got to leave yourself extra time, and may have to tote extra clothing, depending upon the dress code at work.

      Please don’t wear headphones while riding in traffic. I depend upon my ears to tell me whether there’s a car behind me, etc. I also try to make eye contact with motorists at crucial intersections, to make sure they see me and aren’t going to pull out in front of me.

      I also have a little bike horn. But what I use mostly is my voice. If I suspect a car is going to pull out in front of me, I’ll yell at them ..”Hey.” It annoys some people, but their minor annoyance is overruled by my need to be safe.

  4. Thanks, Diane and Sage! Great advice. Yes, I’ll factor in the rush hour times into the commute and will try to go in early/leave earlier. I’m leaving from the Oakhurst area will be going to Corporate Squre (corner of N. Druid Hills/Buford or off the access road at exit 89.

    1. From Oakhurst, I would consider going down McClendon to Oakdale and The By Way, and then cut through Virginia Highlands/Morningside. Hilly, but not a lot of traffic, even during rush hour.

  5. And a headlight, if you’re riding in dim light.
    Reflective clothing, arm/leg bands isn’t a bad idea, either.

  6. Diane,

    I cruised almost the whole length of the sharrow project last night.

    All of the sample sharrows are painted up against the curb. As long as the real sharrows are painted along the the oil-drip line or just slightly to the left of the oil-drip line, we’ll get the message across.

    Also, if they could be painted at 1.5-2x the current frequency, that would be even better (but I’ll take what I can get).

    (I am both a bicycle commuter and a local police officer although I’m not posting this in my professional capacity.)


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