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?