Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bike Month Day Seven, and Sharrows On As New Business at Tonight's T-Board Meeting

The main order of new business at tonight's T Board meeting is a discussion of sharrows, aka shared lane markings. My understanding is that the County plans to install them on Central Ave and the Laboratory may be planning on installing them on Diamond Drive along TA-3. Be at the meeting if you can. Meeting starts at 5:30 pm tonight at the Municipal Building, room 110.

In this pic of a sharrow in Toronto, the sharrow is correctly (or perhaps not far enough in from the curb--see my addenum below and thanks, Mike) placed outside the "door zone" of parked cars. If the cyclist was riding centered on the sharrow, he would not be in the door zone.  Attribution: "Sharrows Toronto 2011" by Dylan Passmore from Toronto, Canada - Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

The freshly painted sharrow on a shared RTO (auto) thru bike lane, Diamond Drive

Here is the MUTCD guidance (circa 2009, if there is more recent out there, please holler). Comment 1, from Mike, might be right if applied in the US, but not sure on Canadian policy.

Section 9C.07 Shared Lane Marking
01 The Shared Lane Marking shown in Figure 9C-9 may be used to:
A. Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist’s impacting the open door of a parked vehicle,
B. Assist bicyclists 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 road users 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.
02 The Shared Lane Marking should not be placed on roadways that have a speed limit above 35 mph.
03 Shared Lane Markings shall not be used on shoulders or in designated bicycle lanes.
04 If used in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking, Shared Lane Markings should be placed so that the centers of the markings are at least 11 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.
05 If used on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel lane that is less than 14 feet wide, the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.
06 If used, the Shared Lane Marking should be placed immediately after an intersection and spaced at intervals not greater than 250 feet thereafter.
07 Section 9B.06 describes a Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign that may be used in addition to or instead of the Shared Lane Marking to inform road users that bicyclists might occupy the travel lane.

Here is something else. Evaluation of Shared Lane Markings,  FHWA-HRT-10-041 Dec 2010


MikeOnBike said...

That sharrow is too far right. It should be centered in the effective travel lane, same as any other painted markings in the lane.

JerryM said...

I think sharrows down central is a fine idea. Maybe 1 sign, or not. The TB seemed very receptive to the idea. Maybe some thoughts from a cyclist as to exactly where to place them would be a good thing?

Khal said...

Placement is set by MUTCD as far as lateral positioning. Would be worth a walkdown, though.

MikeOnBike said...

Yeah, the MUTCD allows off-center sharrows, because it measures from the curb. But the MUTCD only specifies the minimum placement, not the optimal placement.

Off-center sharrows imply cyclists should bear to the right of unsharable lanes. That's a lousy message.

Khal said...

Agree that it would be wise to work with the county on exact placement.