"Sharrows" Being Implemented to Improve Cycling Awareness
What is a "Sharrow"?
Sharrows are arrow-like markings on the roadway that mark a bicycling route. The word "Sharrow" is a portmanteau of the words "share" and "arrow."
What is the purpose of sharrows?
The shared lane marking is intended to inform cyclists and motorists where a travel lane is shared by both modes. The sharrows have been shown to help promote awareness on sharing the road-it combats the issue of motorists squeezing cyclists into curbs. The goal is to keep cyclists safe from common dangers like parked cars, busy intersections, and motorists who don't expect cyclists.
Are lanes with sharrows only for bikes?
These markings reinforce the fact that roads are shared between cyclists and motor vehicles. Bike sharrows are not the same as bike lanes. The latter is designated by a solid white line and a different symbol.
Can cyclists use roads without sharrows?
All roads are open for cyclists unless explicitly prohibited by signs.
What are some advantages of using shared lane markings?
Where in Auburn can I find them?
You can see the sharrows painted on roads like E Longleaf Dr between S College St and S Donahue Dr and on S Donahue Dr between Longleaf Dr and East University Dr.
Where did sharrows come from? Why?
Sharrows were first used in Denver, CO in the mid-1990's and have since been adopted by cities all over such as San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, and Paris.
Although shared lane markings were considered controversial by transportation officials throughout the United States, many cities pressed on with installing these markings.
One trial city was San Francisco. The officials in San Francisco had been researching ways to improve cycling conditions and commissioned a study. The studies found that these shared lane markings provided a statistically significant benefit to cyclists by encouraging them to move left and center--out of danger. Since California's study and recommendation in 2004, the entire state has adopted the sharrow.
Europe and Australia have their own way of showing shared lanes. They use "bicycle friendly zones" to encourage cyclists and motorists to stay aware and share the road.