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Old 10-08-07, 01:31 PM   #1
shuttoj
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But but but... I want sharrows in my city too!

Santa Fe is moving forward with a plan to add sharrows to 13 streets, you can read more at the link following below. Check out the spiffy picture if you haven't seen one before.

http://www.freenewmexican.com/SantaF...pread_sharrows

I saw the sharrows last time I visited Santa Fe. Didn't know what they were called or what exactly they were for. I did take the lane on those streets and didn't have any issues. Seeing a stenciled bicycle in the middle of the frickin' lane just begs you to take it.

The article states that sharrows are in common use in San Francisco, anybody else have them in their city? Any opinions on how effective they really are?
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Old 10-08-07, 01:34 PM   #2
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Seattle just started...some folks are not happy with the scheme.

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Old 10-08-07, 02:00 PM   #3
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We have them in Chicago and they totally suck IMO.

You need a bike lane with an outer stripe so the cars will stay over there. They just drive halfway over the stupid sharrow (I try to line up so I cross them in the middle).
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Old 10-08-07, 02:06 PM   #4
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We have them in Chicago and they totally suck IMO.

You need a bike lane with an outer stripe so the cars will stay over there. They just drive halfway over the stupid sharrow (I try to line up so I cross them in the middle).
Sounds like the cars are passing you... is this on streets where traffic is substantially faster than you are? Wouldn't make much sense to do that though, as far as I understand what a sharrow means (bicycles take the full lane).
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Old 10-08-07, 02:06 PM   #5
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You know it isn't a useful sign or pavement marking if the driving rules for that particular piece of road would be no different in the absence of the sign or marking.
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Old 10-08-07, 02:13 PM   #6
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What are they for? Is it just a few arrows and a picture of a bike?
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Old 10-08-07, 02:14 PM   #7
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You know it isn't a useful sign or pavement marking if the driving rules for that particular piece of road would be no different in the absence of the sign or marking.
I consider sharrows to be as useful as the "Do Not Drive On Median" signs on the highway: Nothing more than a statement of the obvious, and for someone intent on disobeying the rules neither one makes any difference.
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Old 10-08-07, 02:17 PM   #8
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We have some in Sunnyvale, but they aren't in neighborhoods I frequent. The areas seem too high-traffic for such sharing to be effective.

What I really want to know is if a sharrow in the middle of the road is going to help someone behind the wheel of an Escalade EXT with a cell phone in one hand and a latte in the other (and probably kids watching DVDs in the back) to acknowledge my existence? I have doubts.
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Old 10-08-07, 02:40 PM   #9
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I sit on our city's bicycle and pedestrian committee and this is the kind of thing we discuss. Everytime I am blown away at the expense of merely spraying paint on the ground ! You just can't win with the city. Bureaucracy is so horribly inefficient that even the cheapest possible option, painting streets, is still too expensive!
Now the city engineers are saying that even if they had funds in the budget they couldn't use them because they're understaffed. :-\
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Old 10-08-07, 03:04 PM   #10
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Seattle just started...some folks are not happy with the scheme.

East Hill
Are those "some folks" motorists?

"But but, what are bicycles doing on our streets.... ?"
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Old 10-08-07, 03:10 PM   #11
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Check out the SFBC's study of the effectiveness of sharrows around san francisco
http://www.bicycle.sfgov.org/site/up...ort-052404.pdf
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Old 10-08-07, 03:43 PM   #12
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Check out the SFBC's study of the effectiveness of sharrows around san francisco
http://www.bicycle.sfgov.org/site/up...ort-052404.pdf
Great link, thanks for posting it up!

Neat, the PDF specifically mentions Denver in the appendix. We have some routes marked with a "bike-in-a-house" symbol. I have seen them on the street before, but dismissed them as a routine bike route marker (non-sharrow) because its positioned in the right portion of the lane.
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Old 10-08-07, 03:51 PM   #13
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We have some in Sunnyvale, but they aren't in neighborhoods I frequent. The areas seem too high-traffic for such sharing to be effective.
This is a concern for me as well. There are a couple roads here that are designated bike lanes, but I never ride on them because people use them as primary east-west routes through the city, and traffic tends to be heavy more often than not. I do see cyclists on the roads, they're just too busy for my tastes unless I'm in the mood to crank it up a few notches )

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What I really want to know is if a sharrow in the middle of the road is going to help someone behind the wheel of an Escalade EXT with a cell phone in one hand and a latte in the other (and probably kids watching DVDs in the back) to acknowledge my existence? I have doubts.
According to the SF PDF zoltani helpfully posted above, sharrows are the most noticed above bike-in-a-house and bike with separate arrow. I'll take more noticed over less, and still assume I'm invisible to drivers and other bicyclists. Heck, distracted drivers blow stop signs and red lights on a regular basis, anything that helps the somewhat mindful people notice me is good.

Last edited by shuttoj; 10-08-07 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 10-08-07, 04:01 PM   #14
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I consider sharrows to be as useful as the "Do Not Drive On Median" signs on the highway: Nothing more than a statement of the obvious, and for someone intent on disobeying the rules neither one makes any difference.
I think they're useful, gives motorists a sort of on-the-fly education. Agreed on the disobeying the rules bit.
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Old 10-08-07, 04:18 PM   #15
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Actually, sharrows around here are not in the middle of the lane at all. They are to the right, put they are specifically designed to keep cyclists out of the door zone and out of the lane of auto travel. Think of them more as a guideline to show cyclists and motorists where a bike should be on the road.

Note: I still see people cycling the wrong way even though the arrows obviously point in the direction of travel. One guy in particular was cycling the wrong way wearing headphones, adn when i told him he should be on the other side he promptly flipped the bird as he forced me into the path of the vehicles behind me.
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Old 10-08-07, 05:59 PM   #16
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What are they for? Is it just a few arrows and a picture of a bike?
They started here in Denver. The idea is to show that bikes can be expected on the road. The original idea was that they would be used without bike lanes and not too close to the curb. It's just a kind of 'heads up' to motorists without segregating cyclists to a lane. I actually like them better than a painted lane. If they are placed correctly (something that doesn't always happen), they say to the drivers
'expect a cyclist' and the bicyclist that 'here's where you can ride'.

We call them 'bike in a house'.
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Old 10-08-07, 09:01 PM   #17
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Had no idea they originated in Denver, nice. Feel silly not knowing what they were, y'know, living here and all The sharrows in Santa Fe especially struck me because: a) they were on narrow, one-way 25 MPH roads, and b) they placed it directly in the middle of the street. The ones in Denver that are off from center don't do much for me. Maybe its the house design as opposed to the chevrons used elsewhere.
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Old 10-08-07, 09:15 PM   #18
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We have sharrows on a few streets here in Pittsburgh. I can't comment all that much on their effectiveness since I rarely ride in that part of town, but at the very least it makes the road a lot wider than it otherwise would be. True bike lanes are almost unheard of here, so every bit helps.
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Old 10-08-07, 10:31 PM   #19
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Like many things, I think the usage of sharrows needs to coincide with a marketing campaign to get people to understand them. Billboards and public service announcements whether radio or TV need to be used for educating both cyclists and motorists.
I couldn't figure them out until I read the San Francisco report on them.
At $300 a pop, I do think that Santa Fe needs to do a better job of advertising the project to get competitive bids.
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Old 10-08-07, 10:44 PM   #20
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I like the general idea, but $300 each? It's just reflective white paint and a guy to spray it... I think it's a bit pricey considering what it is.
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Old 10-08-07, 10:46 PM   #21
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They magically appeared on a few streets near downtown back in August. Unfortunately, the first batch peeled off the road in a day or so ["Glue? What glue?"], but they were replaced fairly quickly. I think they should use the money to put up a big flashing sign [solar powered, of course] that says BIKE ROUTE - ****ING PAY ATTENTION!!! Or words to that effect...
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Old 10-08-07, 10:56 PM   #22
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Berkeley has a whole network of these. We call them bicycle boulevards... not sharrows. I ride them everyday. Typcially they set up barriers so it's not even worth a cars' time to drive on them because it ends within a block. But bikes can easily get through the barriers.

They work great, bikes have the right away, everyone's happy. It's not like they shut down major streets to make these... it's unused residential streets that parallel main streets.
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Old 10-08-07, 11:09 PM   #23
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Are those "some folks" motorists?

"But but, what are bicycles doing on our streets.... ?"
No, some of the folks are cyclists:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...protest02.html

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Old 10-09-07, 07:03 AM   #24
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Had no idea they originated in Denver, nice. Feel silly not knowing what they were, y'know, living here and all The sharrows in Santa Fe especially struck me because: a) they were on narrow, one-way 25 MPH roads, and b) they placed it directly in the middle of the street. The ones in Denver that are off from center don't do much for me. Maybe its the house design as opposed to the chevrons used elsewhere.
The chevron is new. Most of the ones around Denver were an experiment and the road crews misplaced them because they didn't understand the concept. Once down it's difficult to move them. I've seen them elsewhere where they are right on the curb (even overlapping the gutter pan) and in a narrow bike lane...one that's only 2 feet wide and that includes 12" of gutter pan Those are useless.
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Old 10-09-07, 09:58 AM   #25
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All, thank you for the informative posts and links. I got quite a bit of new information. My new dream is to see chevron-sharrows centered in the middle of the lane. Oh, I'd take pinkrobe's big flashing sign too

After learning more about how a city typically gets bicycle markers on the roads, my heart goes to dwoloz, sitting on a committee and trying to make things happen with a department thats underfunded and understaffed.
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