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  1. #1
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    The Sharrow Thread

    The shared use arrow, or "sharrow," was originally developed to encourage cyclists to ride on roadways outside of door zones and to discourage sidewalk and wrong-way cycling, while at the same time increasing driver awareness of bicyclists' legitimate use of roadway positions that require other drivers to slow down or change lanes to pass.

    Many vehicular cycling advocates feel that sharrows accomplish the bicyclist-awareness and encouragement/marketing goals often cited to promote bike lane striping, without the operational or social problems often associated with striped bike lanes. This has led to advocacy for use of shared use arrows in place of striped bike lanes on some roads where striped bike lanes would fit, and others where they would not. A number of policy questions arise:

    (1) What do vehicular cycling advocates who are concerned about bike lane problems think of sharrows? Are they an agreeable compromise, desirable, or a bad idea? Should they replace bike lane striping on most urban streets?

    (2) Should sharrows be used on roads with wide lanes (14' or wider)? Or only narrow lanes?

    (2) On wide lanes without adjacent on-street parking, should sharrows be marked right-biased (away from intersection approaches of course), center-lane, or at different positions depending on what most cyclists would be doing at that specific location?

    These questions are meant in terms of what we would like to see. How do the answers compare to the implementation policies that DOTs are currently using?
    Last edited by sggoodri; 09-14-09 at 08:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    1. No real concerns except lateral placement and the possibility (as with bike lanes) that their absence on roads or lanes could be interpreted as those being inappropriate for bicycles.
    2. Sure, any lane width, as long as they don't dictate a specific lateral position
    3. The sharrow designs I've seen dictate a fairly specific lateral position. I think the design could be changed to not be as specific, for example just a wide lane spanning bicycle icon, or an icon that shows multiple (left, center, right) positions. At intersections approaches on roads with one same direction lane the left position could have a left turn arrow, the center a thru and the right position a right turn arrow. Just a rough idea.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by noisebeam; 09-14-09 at 10:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I suspect sharrows could end up appearing the same way bike route signs do: mostly on roads that are already pleasant for cycling, and not on those less-pleasant roads where motorists most need to be reminded that cyclists have a right to the narrow travel lane.

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    well, the design intent is for sharrows to be placed in lanes considered too narrow to place bikelanes or where the placement indicates the bikelane should be dropped, also in 'marginally wide' (or is that 'marginally narrow?') lanes and with speeds of less than 35 mph.

    i think these defining characteristics are crucial. as cyclists are expected to 'share the lane'.

    1)sharrows work well as part of hybrid streetscape design to include vehicularily rideable bikelanes where roadway widths are ample for AASHTO compliant +1 foot buffered bikelanes in urban areas.

    2)sharrows should be usable in any width lane as long as they unequivocally indicate a cyclist may use the full lane that is being striped.

    2a) they can be effective at directionality and lateral placements. i see them being used to guide bike traffic across multilane, slow speed arterials to position bicyclists out of the right lane (bike or general traffic lane) to position for left turns in a dedicated left turn bike pocket or general turn lane depending on intersection dynamic.



    high speed differentials, narrow lanes and sharrows? dubious to ever develop as a considerate accommodation for bicyclists.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-14-09 at 09:01 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    1. No real concerns except lateral placement and the possibility (as with bike lanes) that their absence on roads or lanes could be interpreted as those being inappropriate for bicycles.
    2. Sure, any lane width, as long as they don't dictate a specific lateral position
    3. The sharrow designs I've seen dictate a fairly specific lateral position. I think the design could be changed to not be as specific, for example just a wide lane spanning bicycle icon, or an icon that shows multiple (left, center, right) positions. At intersections approaches on roads with one same direction lane the left position could have a left turn arrow, the center a thru and the right position a right turn arrow. Just a rough idea.


    I think you've got something with your observation that the absence of a sharrow or a bike lane could signal that bikes shouldn't be there. + a bike lane says that's the only place a bike should be, doesn't it? What's wrong with just riding in the road? "I doan need no stinkin' bike lane."

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    with modal shares approaching 5 percent or greater in cities with sharrowed streetscapes, bicyclists are pretty much everywhere. motorists will be expecting and seeing bicyclists on most every road in town..... except those high speed arterials that sharrows are NOT suitable for. bikeshare is quashed somewhat there by high speed differentials and lack of preferred class lanes.

    all the sharrows in the world won't get high bike mode share on a narrowlaned, 55 mph arterial.

    you want motorists to expect to see bicyclists on ALL roads in a community fairly equitably?

    sharrows on slow speed collector and significant slower speed bikeroutes without adequate roadwidth for preffered class facilities, and bikelanes on high speed high traffic arterials- the bike share will be EVERYWHERE.

    the 'bikes don't belong' argument against bikeways planning is, well, silly.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-14-09 at 10:07 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post


    with modal shares approaching 5 percent or greater in cities with sharrowed streetscapes, bicyclists are pretty much everywhere. motorists will be expecting and seeing bicyclists on most every road in town..... except those high speed arterials that sharrows are NOT suitable for. bikeshare is quashed somewhat there by high speed differentials and lack of preferred class lanes.

    all the sharrows in the world won't get high bike mode share on a narrowlaned, 55 mph arterial.

    you want motorists to expect to see bicyclists on ALL roads in a community fairly equitably?

    sharrows on slow speed collector and significant slower speed bikeroutes without adequate roadwidth for preffered class facilities, and bikelanes on high speed high traffic arterials- the bike share will be EVERYWHERE.

    the 'bikes don't belong' argument against bikeways planning is, well, silly.
    modal shares? what does that mean? You're afraid to ride on streets with a speed limit of 50? What if you live near one? You gonna put your bike in a car and drive until you find a 30 zone? Then what? call a taxi the next time you can't find a slow road? I ride where I want to ride and I'm not waiting for some city planner to fix things. A sharrow sounds fine to me, on any road where I have the right to ride.

  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you're funny.


    -and obviously inflicted with vehicular bicyclist superiority disorder.


    you need to be familiarized with modal share?

    here, smart guy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_share

    personally, i have no problems with taking the lane, i was center laneing a state highway in front of semitruck traffic off stevens pass a couple of days ago, and taking the travel lanes on I-5 just a few weeks ago, I'm fine, thank you for your concerns.

    discussion is on facilitating vehicular bike modal share and the purported or desired benefits from sharrowed roadscaping versus bikelane designs.

    styming steve's desire to prevent preferred class lanes from ever taking away space from motorists in Cary, NC,

    in serious consideration of bike traffic, effects from speed differentials and roadway design affecting rider modal share is a significant factor to be considered.

    like i said, all the sharrows in the world will not significantly increase bike ridership along high ADT, high speed arterial cooridors. just isn't going to happen, that pipe dream is a VC fantasy. and striping a sharrow at the edge of a 55 mile per hour wide laned road? Hello honksville, right hook, curbhug and cross city!!!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-14-09 at 10:38 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  9. #9
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    you're funny.


    -and obviously inflicted with vehicular bicyclist superiority disorder.


    Guilty and proud of it. Thank you. What do I care about wimpy riders having to be coaxed into riding by special roads. Let em stay home and eat cake or quiche. You can ride in the freeway without a bike lane, fine by me. I'm not going to do that, but I don't need the imaginary protection of a line whether it's on a 35 or a 50 speed zone. Sharrows sound good to me because they say bikes are cool on the road, but really, why should I care that other people won't ride because its only a sharrow instead of a line?

    I'm riding either way. So are you. I'm proud of you.

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    are you afraid of freeway speed traffic or what? 'not going to ride on the freeway without a bikelane'....

    pfft, what's wrong with you? love these glib, cocksure "i'm tough and capable big VC man, screw the other riders, but there's still some roads i won't ride in traffic or without a stripe....

    wimpasourus!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-14-09 at 10:59 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
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    You have to stoop to name calling. That's all you got? Freeway riding is illegal. You have a separated lane for bikes only on I-5, great. That lane is not the freeway.

    Your reference to "glib, cocksure" is obvious projection, not that you have a clue what I'm talking about

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    actually, 'glib' and 'cocksure' accurately describe your attitude. and 'wimp' was first bandied about by you in here describing other cyclists.


    In a discussion of sharrows, increasing modal share for bicyclists and inculcating lawful, vehicular road bicycling activities amongst more than cocksure vehikularists is part and parcel to the conversation.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-15-09 at 08:21 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #13
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels2 View Post
    Freeway riding is illegal.
    incorrect

  14. #14
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels2 View Post
    Freeway riding is illegal.
    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    incorrect
    What is the technical definition of a "freeway"?

    Is it "limited access without tolls"? Or simply "without tolls"?

    Anyway, clearly there are places where it is perfectly legal to ride on Interstates and other major highways.

    Back to SHARROWs?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    What is the technical definition of a "freeway"?

    Is it "limited access without tolls"? Or simply "without tolls"?

    Anyway, clearly there are places where it is perfectly legal to ride on Interstates and other major highways.

    Back to SHARROWs?
    A freeway is a divided highway without intersections (or driveways) at grade.

  16. #16
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    'Freeway riding is illegal'

    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    incorrect
    "Shared Use Paths Along or Near Freeways

    There are no Federal laws or regulations that prohibit shared use paths along or near Interstate highways or other freeways. There are several examples of shared use paths along or within Interstate or other freeway rights-of-way. Nearly all have obvious barriers (walls or fences) or grade separation between the freeway and the shared use path.' http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/...d/freeways.htm

    A separated bike path or shared use path along a freeway is not the freeway.

  17. #17
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    "RCW 46.61.160 Restrictions on use of limited-access highway by bicyclists.

    The Department of Transportation may by order, and local authorities may by ordinance or resolution, with respect to any limited access highway under their respective jurisdictions prohibit the use of any such highway by funeral processions, or by parades, pedestrians, bicycles or other non-motorized traffic, or by any person operating a motor-driven cycle. Bicyclists may use the right shoulder of limited access highways except where prohibited. The Department of Transportation may by order, and local authorities may by ordinance or resolution, with respect to any limited-access highway under their respective jurisdictions prohibit the use of the shoulders of any such highway by bicycles within urban areas or upon other sections of the highway where such use is deemed to be unsafe. The Department of Transportation or the local authority adopting any such prohibitory regulation shall erect and maintain official traffic control devices on the limited access roadway on which such regulations are applicable, and when so erected no person may disobey the restrictions stated on such devices."

    [emphasis applied]

  18. #18
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon Administrative Rules
    OAR 734-020-0045

    Prohibition of Non-Motorized Vehicles on Freeways

    (1) Non-motorized vehicles are prohibited upon the following segments of freeways within the State of Oregon:

    (a) Portland area:

    (A) The Columbia River Highway No. 2 (Banfield/I-84) from its intersection with I-5, M.P. 0.00, to 122nd Avenue, M.P. 10.25, east bound, and to Sandy Boulevard, M.P. 15.14, west bound;

    (B) The Sunset Highway No. 47 easterly of the Jefferson Street Interchange, M.P. 73.35;

    (C) Interstate 5 (Hwy. No. 1) from the Beaverton - Tigard Highway Interchange, M.P. 292.20, to the Delta Park Interchange, M.P. 306.70;

    (D) Interstate 205 (Hwy. No. 64) northerly of the Overcrossing of the Oswego Highway No. 3, M.P. 8.82;

    (E) Interstate 405 (Hwy. No. 61) in its entirety; and

    (F) Lower Columbia Highway No. 2W from its intersection with I-405, M.P. 0.00, to 23rd Street, M.P. 1.99.

    (b) Medford area: Interstate 5 (Pacific Highway No. 1) from the Barnet Road Interchange, M.P. 27.58, to the Crater Lake Highway Interchange, M.P. 30.29 (in Medford).

    (2) The closure of the above sections to non-motorized vehicles shall become effective following the erection of adequate signing.
    what this means is that it's legal to ride on limited access interstate highways everywhere in Oregon except the defined locations in the Portland and Medford metropolitan areas.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    yes, we were definitely riding a general travel lane of Interstate 5 coming off of Snoqualamie Pass a few weeks ago.

    we were doing about 40MPH, rolling around a corner outside of North Bend, and had to take the lane for about 3/4 of a mile to pass some serious clusterfuzzle on the shoulder. semi trucks were changing lanes to pass doing about 70-75mph past us.

    pretty cool, without a superflash and a mirror I doubt we would have tried it so brazenly. I was in sweep, saw the wreck and flares on the shoulder, pulled out to block and was yelling "take it, TAKE IT!" to my friends ahead who were looking back over their shoulders tenatively before committing to the lane after they saw me in the lane.

    the point being to what's his name, is that NO, not all riders that seek to inculcate lawful road bicycling behaviors thru the use of infrastructure enhancements and bikeways planning is a 'timid' bicyclist afraid to mix it up with traffic.

    I'm simply a realist when considering the general public, the current bicyclists, and the potential to lower barriers to safe and competent bicycling for more people thru infrastructure enhancements that facilitate lawful road bicycling.

    I shot some video tonight of some great hybrid roadscaping that combines bikelane and sharrow dependent on road constraints, and a directional sharrow designed to position bikes in a lane to more safely cross railroad tracks.

    might be a couple of days before i get it posted, i'll try some still clips as a teaser/

    now if we can get back to sharrows.

    sharrows are not a serious consideration for bike facilitation in high speed, narrow lane, high ADT traffic cooridors.

    that VC pipe dream is a street dystopia fraught with honksville, right hook, curbhug and cross city, and a very low bicyclist modal share to boot!

    nice plan, guys... NOT!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-15-09 at 08:06 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
    . . /L
    =()>()

  21. #21
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Thanks for the pictures!

  22. #22
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    directional sharrow across oblique railroad track crossing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35zFxwxdhk8
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  23. #23
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    directional sharrow across oblique railroad track crossing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35zFxwxdhk8
    That's a pretty clever use of the sharrow, in my opinion.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Well, I'm one of those wimps who don't want to get out on my local 45-55 mph arterial and ride my bike. speed differentials are too fast and great, too much risk for me and, I'll bet, a majority of other riders. I'll ride on sidestreets, in bikelanes and on sidewalks. a common-sense approach is what's needed, not just telling riders to "get out there and be a man", but actually providing alternatives that make sense and work, whether that be bike lanes, bike routes, sidestreets, sharrows, or whatever.

    I doubt if sharrows themselves do much for cyclists. they're kind of easy to overlook.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  25. #25
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando View Post
    I doubt if sharrows themselves do much for cyclists. they're kind of easy to overlook.
    Real sharrows are BIG and hard to miss, like 3' x 6', according to the proposed MUTCD standard.

    IMO, the more important reason to use sharrows doesn't have much to do with cyclists themselves, it's more about educating motorists that cyclists belong on the road, in the lane.

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