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  1. #1
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    New ‘sharrows on steroids’ debut

    "Some may view the addition of dashed lines to the sides of sharrow icons an underwhelming innovation. But Freedman said she believes drivers will intuitively see the dashed lines as an indication that they should use the left-hand lane if traffic is free-flowing, leaving a wide berth for cyclists in the right-hand lane it’s not rush hour gridlock."

    Read the full article:
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/blo...3vFJ/blog.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Those new sharrow designs ought to generate some real fine examples of tolerance and analytical reasoning in letter to the editor in the local papers.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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  3. #3
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    People ask and expect too much from pavement markings. I'm actually a fan of sharrows, but unless both drivers and cyclists understand what they mean and the basics of safe road sharing they won't help, and could hurt.

    For example (and I don't claim this will happen, just showing that it's a possibility) if drivers and cyclists assume this is a primary bike lane and drivers stay left, we might see more right hooks at intersections because of failure to properly merge before turns (both cyclist and driver need to understand this).

    IMO- we need less paint, and more assertive traffic education so all road users understand their part in safe road use. Paint with education only benefits those who sell paint.
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  4. #4
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    We have a few sharrow lanes with the dashed lines, here in Dallas.

    http://anurbanrambler.blogspot.com/2...ike-lanes.html
    That's gonna leave a mark.

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    Sigh. Since I was an inadvertant subject of the "experiment" with sharrows between Harvard Square and North Cambridge, the fears of what horrible things will happen are just that - fears.

    Sharrows were better than nothing. Not just a bit better, a lot better. Fewer right hooks, fewer dooring, more safe passes. As soon as the sharrow markings were allowed to fade away, everything went worse too.

    And for narrow lanes, the sharrow-steroid edition will probably be better than sharrows and better than nothing. (And from what I can tell, the bikes may use full lane are noticed by one community - bicyclists.) But we don't know, yet, what the bottom line is.

    But now we have a new experiment - where parts of Mass Ave between Harvard Square and Lexington Center are marked with sharrows, bike lines, bikes may use full lane, nothing etc. (We don't have the priority bike line markings - yet.) We'll have a major cycling corridor that can be studied for alternatives - an epidemiology study. I still don't like being the subject of this, but....

    Not that it will matter in the end, folks will still point to 1974 studies to prove that all this is dangerous.

    -mr. bill

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Not that it will matter in the end, folks will still point to 1974 studies to prove that all this is dangerous.

    -mr. bill

    Probably...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    People ask and expect too much from pavement markings. I'm actually a fan of sharrows, but unless both drivers and cyclists understand what they mean and the basics of safe road sharing they won't help, and could hurt.

    For example (and I don't claim this will happen, just showing that it's a possibility) if drivers and cyclists assume this is a primary bike lane and drivers stay left, we might see more right hooks at intersections because of failure to properly merge before turns (both cyclist and driver need to understand this).

    IMO- we need less paint, and more assertive traffic education so all road users understand their part in safe road use. Paint with education only benefits those who sell paint.
    I think that education process should begin by requiring the placement of "Cyclists May Use Full Lane" signs when sharrows are put in. I'd like to see those signs everywhere, but placing them with the sharrows, particularly the ones on roads with more than one lane in each direction, seems like a good starting place.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I think that education process should begin by requiring the placement of "Cyclists May Use Full Lane" signs when sharrows are put in. ....
    That's not what I had in mind. I'll venture that most drivers have no idea what they mean, so the right start is a billboard or public service TV campaign explaining what they are. But there also needs to be scenario specific education, by whatever means are shown to work, dealing with lane placement when making turns, safe passing separation, right of way, and so on. I'm not talking about only educating mororists, the reality is that the majority of cyclists are ill-equipped to stay safe on the road.

    Road safety depends on all players, bicyclists and motorists, understanding what the other guy might be thinking or will or may do in various circumstances. Here on the forum folks are always discussing cyclist rights, I'm more interested in cyclist survival, and the two are not necessarily interlocked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    That's not what I had in mind. I'll venture that most drivers have no idea what they mean, so the right start is a billboard or public service TV campaign explaining what they are. But there also needs to be scenario specific education, by whatever means are shown to work, dealing with lane placement when making turns, safe passing separation, right of way, and so on. I'm not talking about only educating mororists, the reality is that the majority of cyclists are ill-equipped to stay safe on the road.

    Road safety depends on all players, bicyclists and motorists, understanding what the other guy might be thinking or will or may do in various circumstances. Here on the forum folks are always discussing cyclist rights, I'm more interested in cyclist survival, and the two are not necessarily interlocked.
    I mostly agree with you up to the point that is bolded. It sure looks to me like the dangerous riding habits that many (most?) cyclists engage in have been driven by a lack of understanding of their right to the roadway. They seem to be trying to balance riding against some imperative to never inconvenience anyone in a car, which can't really be done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    In a sense, I think they either need to put sharrows everywhere or nowhere, because the laws are the same regardless so the sharrows have no affect on the right and responsibilities of road users. By putting them only a few areas, it can give the impression that cyclists shouldn't be using the road where the are not.

    A good example is the town I live in which just put sharrows on a few blocks of Main Street in the middle of downtown. That's great for those few blocks, but what about the road before and after where there are no sharrows, and all the other roads in the vicinity?

    IMO, the money would be better spent on road user education and awareness programs.
    Last edited by Looigi; 11-22-13 at 06:42 AM.

  11. #11
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    The dashed lines definitely help get across the "this is a lane for bicycles" message that sharrows are intended to give.

    As far as putting them on just a few streets, I think that by putting them on the major roads, drivers and cyclists alike will learn where a bike should be ridden. That knowledge will then translate to roads without sharrows and eventually we won't need sharrows.
    Last edited by spivonious; 11-22-13 at 09:09 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    "Some may view the addition of dashed lines to the sides of sharrow icons an underwhelming innovation. But Freedman said she believes drivers will intuitively see the dashed lines as an indication that they should use the left-hand lane if traffic is free-flowing, leaving a wide berth for cyclists in the right-hand lane it’s not rush hour gridlock."

    Read the full article:
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/blo...3vFJ/blog.html
    Good post.

    I'm glad they didn't put those lines in the door zone. However, I wonder how the motorist are going to treat them since those dashed lines in effect take up most off the lane. How are cars going to lane split when you are entitled to practically the whole lane?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    Sigh. Since I was an inadvertant subject of the "experiment" with sharrows between Harvard Square and North Cambridge, the fears of what horrible things will happen are just that - fears.

    Sharrows were better than nothing. Not just a bit better, a lot better. Fewer right hooks, fewer dooring, more safe passes. As soon as the sharrow markings were allowed to fade away, everything went worse too.

    And for narrow lanes, the sharrow-steroid edition will probably be better than sharrows and better than nothing. (And from what I can tell, the bikes may use full lane are noticed by one community - bicyclists.) But we don't know, yet, what the bottom line is.

    But now we have a new experiment - where parts of Mass Ave between Harvard Square and Lexington Center are marked with sharrows, bike lines, bikes may use full lane, nothing etc. (We don't have the priority bike line markings - yet.) We'll have a major cycling corridor that can be studied for alternatives - an epidemiology study. I still don't like being the subject of this, but....

    Not that it will matter in the end, folks will still point to 1974 studies to prove that all this is dangerous.

    -mr. bill
    Mr. Bill clearly does not understand the arguments that bikeways make cycling more dangerous. The arguments say that road designs that induce or require drivers to violate the standard rules of the road make cycling more dangerous purely because violating those rules causes collisions. Many examples have been described before this. Sharrows do not induce or require drivers to violate the rules of the road; indeed, they are a form of encouragement for obeying those rules. That is the enormous difference.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Mr. Bill clearly does not understand the arguments that bikeways make cycling more dangerous. The arguments say that road designs that induce or require drivers to violate the standard rules of the road make cycling more dangerous purely because violating those rules causes collisions. Many examples have been described before this. Sharrows do not induce or require drivers to violate the rules of the road; indeed, they are a form of encouragement for obeying those rules. That is the enormous difference.
    I do not recall taking a position on bike lanes. (And it's "-mr. bill". No caps.)

    -mr. bill

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    They've been adding those large lane markings on a number of roads here over the last year. Almost all that I've seen are on two lane roads. None are roads I ride and I haven't seen enough bike traffic on them to have any idea if they impact driver or rider behavior. In a couple of cases, I think as a rider I'd appreciate having them there.

    The new markings usually come with repaving and other road improvements and are often accompanied by "bicyclists may use full lane" signs. I believe there is a city regulation requiring accommodations for bicyclists when roads are rebuilt. Given the cost effective nature of sharrows, I might guess they are being used not because they were decided to be better than segregated bike lanes but because they're a whole lot cheaper.

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