In mid November, the city of Richmond, VA began installing the first of approximately 80 lane miles of bike sharrows that will be placed along specific corridors in the city. The pilot corridors where the sharrows are being installed include Meadow Street from Broad Street to Cary Street and Harrison Street from Broad Street to Idlewood, representing about three lanes miles of bike sharrows thus far.
Sharrows consist of a large chevron and bicycle symbol. From start to finish the project will cost about $775,000, with most of the funds coming from the Federal Government grant for “congestion mitigation air quality” projects.
Shared lane pavement markings (or “sharrows”) are bicycle symbols carefully placed to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride on the road, avoid car doors and remind drivers to share the road with cyclists. Unlike bicycle lanes, sharrows do not designate a particular part of the street for the exclusive use of bicyclists.
They are simply a marking to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride and help motorists expect to see and share the lane with bicyclists.
Motorists: Expect to see bicyclists on the street. Remember to give bicyclists three feet of space when passing Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows.
Bicyclists: Use the sharrow to guide where you ride within the lane. Remember not to ride too close to parked cars. Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows.
Purpose of sharrows:
- To indicate a cyclist’s right to the lane. (It does not confer the right, it just informs road users to it.)
- Reduce bicycling on sidewalks
- 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
- Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists
- Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling