Good news for Raleigh area cyclists! At the Monday night meeting of the Raleigh Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, the city staff discussed upcoming striping / sharrow initiatives. Commission member Steve Waters prepared the map you see above. The red and blue markings show the projects that are in the works. They include striped bike lanes (red) and sharrows (blue) along routes that will link North Raleigh to the downtown area.
Raleigh is in the preliminary stages of implementing a comprehensive bike plan, but as you can see from the above map, connectivity among various biking routes in our city is beginning to take shape.
Oberlin Road, which runs from Glenwood to Hillsborough Street near N.C. State, will be getting sharrow treatment. Lassiter Mill, which runs past North Hills to Glenwood at St. Mary's Street, will have a mix of lanes and sharrows. Note that the Lassiter Mills project allows connection to Oberlin via a new lane on Glenwood -- or you can continue toward downtown on St. Mary's, which also has sharrow markings. Clark Avenue near N.C. State and two streets in downtown are also getting sharrows.
Sharrows are a relatively new marking on cycling routes. From Wiki:
This marking is placed in the center of a travel lane to indicate that a bicyclist may use the full lane. The name "sharrow" was coined by Oliver Gajda, of the City and County of San Francisco Bicycle Program, and is a portmanteau of "share" and "arrow.
And their stated purpose:
- 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 motorists 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.
Note that sharrows are intended to "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." In places where the road narrows and cars might be tempted to squeeze past, cyclists are encouraged to use the full travel lane, as indicated by the sharrow's placement.