"Sharrow" is a shorthand term for "shared lane marking" intended to alert motorists and protect cyclists.
But how many cyclists or motorists really know how a bike sharrow protects cyclists and what it signifies to a motorist? According the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD), shared lane markings are meant to:
- Reduce the chance of bicyclists impacting open doors of parked vehicles on a shared roadway with on-street parallel parking.
- Alert road users within a narrow traveled way of the lateral location where bicyclists ride.
- Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists
- Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling
Bike lanes are marked with a 6” stripe, periodic bike symbols and arrows, and roadside signage. Sharrows, or shared lane pavement markings, are bicycle symbols that are placed in the roadway lane indicating that motorists should expect to share the lane with bicycles and vice-versa. Sharrows also serve to guide bicyclists away from the hazardous “door zone” beside parked cars, and function as positioning cues.
When a Sharrow Symbol is on the Roadway: (Click on diagrams above to view sharrow guide)
- Bicyclists should use the SHARROW to guide where they ride within the travel lane.
- When parked cars are present bicyclists should ride centered over the sharrow symbol.
- When there are long stretches of roadway without parked cars present, bicyclists should ride as far to the right hand side of the roadway as practicable and vehicles allowed to safely pass.
- Bicyclists should keep a straight line and not move in and out of parked cars and other obstacles. Bicyclists should ride centered over the sharrow symbol to keep a safe distance from parked cars.
- Bicyclists should ALWAYS ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Motorists may pass a bicyclist on the left, when safe to do so.
Have you noticed "sharrows" on Belmont's roadways?