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What are the bicycles painted on the road?

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What are the bicycles painted on the road?

Old 01-05-24, 07:47 PM
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What are the bicycles painted on the road?

There's a street I commute on where the local authorities decided to paint bicycle stencils every so often down the middle of it.

Thank goodness that they are mostly faded away by now, because nobody knew what they were for.

For reference, it is 25mph, one lane each direction, with a double yellow line and traffic lights. There are businesses, parallel parked cars, and sidewalks on both sides. Other streets in town do not have the markings.

Wonders:
Were the local authorities simply on drugs and trying to "do something"?
Are the markings simply a friendly reminder to drivers to look out for bikes?
Do the markings have any legal meaning (for cars or bikes)?
Are the markings meant to encourage bikers to take that particular street?
Do the markings mean bikes should take the center of the lane and not let cars pass?

Personally, I ignore the markings, as does everyone else.
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Old 01-05-24, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
There's a street I commute on where the local authorities decided to paint bicycle stencils every so often down the middle of it.

Thank goodness that they are mostly faded away by now, because nobody knew what they were for.

For reference, it is 25mph, one lane each direction, with a double yellow line and traffic lights. There are businesses, parallel parked cars, and sidewalks on both sides. Other streets in town do not have the markings.

Wonders:
Were the local authorities simply on drugs and trying to "do something"? Could be, I just don't know.
Are the markings simply a friendly reminder to drivers to look out for bikes? Yes
Do the markings have any legal meaning (for cars or bikes)? Perhaps. See your city's traffic code.
Are the markings meant to encourage bikers to take that particular street? Yes
Do the markings mean bikes should take the center of the lane and not let cars pass? They alert you that bikes may need to do this.
Personally, I ignore the markings, as does everyone else.
And probably weaken your case in court if you hit one.
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Old 01-05-24, 08:32 PM
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Do they have arrows 》》》 sorta like that but pointing in the direction of travel ? If so those are "sharrows" and it means your town stole federal money for bike/pedestrian projects and paved the street with said money. Ref. ISTEA.
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Old 01-05-24, 10:14 PM
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It means a shared lane.

"What does a bike painted on the road mean?
Shared lane markings include a bicycle symbol and a double chevron indicating the direction of travel. They do not designate any part of the roadway as either exclusive to motorists or bicyclists. Rather, the symbols highlight the fact that the travel lane is shared."
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Old 01-05-24, 10:25 PM
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You don't give us any info about where you live, so nobody here can look up what the road markings mean. And rather than bring it up here, why don't you look it up or contact a local authority and find out? Seriously. If you are confused, ask someone who might know.
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Old 01-05-24, 10:33 PM
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In most jurisdictions there is a legal pedestrian crossing at all intersections, sometimes emphasized by a painted crosswalk.

Sharrows are the cycling version of painted crosswalks.

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Old 01-06-24, 08:28 AM
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They work well in my area.

I suspect the OP may have a greater understanding of the intent than is displayed.
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Old 01-06-24, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
I suspect the OP may have a greater understanding of the intent than is displayed.
Yep.
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Old 01-09-24, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
In most jurisdictions there is a legal pedestrian crossing at all intersections, sometimes emphasized by a painted crosswalk.

Sharrows are the cycling version of painted crosswalks.

Yes, the marks that I see in the road have the arrows like in this picture.
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Old 01-09-24, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Yes, the marks that I see in the road have the arrows like in this picture.
You’ve got sharrows!
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Old 01-09-24, 08:05 AM
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At one time I thought I understood the concept of Sharrows, but now I'm utterly confused. They don't mean anything to me, as a seasoned rider, I don't need the symbols to steer me away from hazards.

Here are some interesting photo examples of them used and (in my mind) it only muddies the waters.

(You can scroll thru a bunch of photos on this link):

https://nacto.org/publication/urban-...lane-markings/


>
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Old 01-09-24, 05:07 PM
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OK - I googled sharrow. It seems to be a left-right thing of where in the lane or road bicycles should preferably travel. The ones in the picture above make a tad of sense because there are two lanes. The ones I came across are down the middle of the lane where there is only one lane in each direction, so I guess they give me a little more permission to move left and away from the parked cars.
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Old 01-09-24, 05:16 PM
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From the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (as quoted in Wikipedia)

A. Assist cyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist impacting the open door of a parked vehicle;
B. Assist cyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane;
C. Alert motorists of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way;
D. Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists; and
​​​​​​E. Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

So the ones I see are in effect telling everyone "The road isn't wide enough to try to pass a bike here" (point B). The others seem less relevant.
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Old 01-09-24, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
OK - I googled sharrow. It seems to be a left-right thing of where in the lane or road bicycles should preferably travel. The ones in the picture above make a tad of sense because there are two lanes. The ones I came across are down the middle of the lane where there is only one lane in each direction, so I guess they give me a little more permission to move left and away from the parked cars.
There are so many roadways with cars parked that don't have Sharrows, so this makes them pointless, for all practical purposes. And you don't need a Sharrow to give you permission to ride outside a door zone. All bike laws give us that Right and responsibility.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

(5)(a) A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing must ride in the bicycle lane or, if there is no bicycle lane on the roadway, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:02 AM
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According to NACTO: 'Demonstrated to increase the distance between bicyclists and parked cars, keeping bicyclists out of the “door zone.”' We have sharrows on K St.; guess where they are?
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Old 01-10-24, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
OK - I googled sharrow. It seems to be a left-right thing of where in the lane or road bicycles should preferably travel. The ones in the picture above make a tad of sense because there are two lanes. The ones I came across are down the middle of the lane where there is only one lane in each direction, so I guess they give me a little more permission to move left and away from the parked cars.
They are also know as “bike in the house”. The idea is to not have a marked lane for bicycles but as a notification to motorists and cyclists that the cyclists doesn’t have to hug the curb. Often they are misused in bike lanes or they are too close to the curb. You don’t have to ride over the middle of them but they are a notification that you can ride out there and cars should share the road. I know the guy who helped develop the idea.
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Old 01-10-24, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina
According to NACTO: 'Demonstrated to increase the distance between bicyclists and parked cars, keeping bicyclists out of the “door zone.”' We have sharrows on K St.; guess where they are?
Far too often there is a disconnect between the idea of sharrows and the application. Sometimes that is due to city engineers and others it is due to the paint crew. Sometimes both.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Far too often there is a disconnect between the idea of sharrows and the application. Sometimes that is due to city engineers and others it is due to the paint crew. Sometimes both.
Truth.

However, last summer our local Association of Governments hired Dan Burden, a walkability expert, to do walk audits of problem areas in several of our towns over three very busy days; I believe four of our five-member city council attended the Arcata audit (along with myself and 90 others). After that they were suddenly excited about making the town more walkable, and thankfully dumped the idea of a couplet in a pretty, low-traffic area. In fact, I learned that the city's looking into hiring Dan to consult just for Arcata. I learned this at the Transportation Safety Committee meeting; it was funny to hear the many tiny gasps and squeaks from the committee and the audience (both of them).

Anyway, Tl;dr. The city may do the right thing and remove on-street parking from the sharrow section of street and install a bike lane. It's certainly on the table.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:22 PM
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I saw on on the road in North Carolina this past year a rudimentary similar image of a Bicycle getting rear ended by a car and had a slash through it indicating Don't Cross This Bridge on a bicycle.

I could not stop and take a pic at the time but maybe someone can post an image of it. It was just before the big bridge near Atlantic Beach...
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Old 01-10-24, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
I saw on on the road in North Carolina this past year a rudimentary similar image of a Bicycle getting rear ended by a car and had a slash through it indicating Don't Cross This Bridge on a bicycle.

I could not stop and take a pic at the time but maybe someone can post an image of it. It was just before the big bridge near Atlantic Beach...
Have you tried google maps?
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Old 01-14-24, 09:53 AM
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Its not the outline of a squashed bike, like the body at a crime scene?
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Old 01-15-24, 12:08 PM
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Sometimes the sharrows can be whimsical. These in the River North district of Denver. The area is also know as RiNo

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Old 01-25-24, 02:41 AM
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They are ill-conceived indicators that "bikes may use full lane". Very dangerous and rude, especially with a double yellow line. Ignore them. On the other hand, they may in-advertantly serve as reminders to drivers who park along that way to double check for bikes before opening their door to exit their vehicle, so maybe not a complete waste of paint..
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Old 01-25-24, 08:14 AM
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I was told by our local DPW that the pavement is softer there giving riders a safer place to fall off their bikes...someone will have to test it and report back to us on this thread with the results of their testing...make sure to test it several times in different spots to get more useful data...
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Old 01-25-24, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
There's a street I commute on where the local authorities decided to paint bicycle stencils every so often down the middle of it.

Thank goodness that they are mostly faded away by now, because nobody knew what they were for..
That's a shame. Do they understand what the red octagons and yellow triangle signs are for? Do they understand what RR Crossing means when it's painted on the pavement? Sounds like you've identified a real need for some pretty basic education in your area.

Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Wonders:
Were the local authorities simply on drugs and trying to "do something"?
Are the markings simply a friendly reminder to drivers to look out for bikes?
Do the markings have any legal meaning (for cars or bikes)?
Are the markings meant to encourage bikers to take that particular street?
Do the markings mean bikes should take the center of the lane and not let cars pass?
1) No drugs necessary. They did do something.
2) Yes, and an indicator that bikes are allowed to take the center of the lane.
3) Yes. They indicate that bicycles are legal vehicles and can legally take the lane. Note that the contrary is not true. You are also allowed to ride on roads without sharrows.
4) Likely, or possibly a recognition that that is a popular street for cyclists.
5) They mean you are entitled to take the lane. If you want to move out of the lane to let cars pass, that is your option, but it is not required.

Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Personally, I ignore the markings, as does everyone else.
You do you, I suppose. Given that many of us pay enough attention to sharrows to discuss them from time to time, I guess we don't ALL ignore them.
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