Where have I been for the last couple of years? Have I been living under a rock? Why didn’t I know what Sharrows were until just yesterday? I’ve seen the chevron looking markings on the road in one section of my commute but until yesterday I had no idea what they meant. I’m a dunce! In my defense, the markings I have seen in Oceanside haven’t been there for two years but at least 6 months!
So what are Sharrows? Below is an image of one. What are they used for? Here are some examples.
The stated purposes of the shared-lane markings used in California were to:
- 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;
- 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;
- Alert road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way;
- Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists; and
- Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.
The video below features Tony Cruz, professional bike racer, talking about Sharrows in Long Beach!