Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seattle Sharrows

There has been a lot of street painting in the last few months (apparently not helping Nickels all that much). It seems that every day I notice a new street with Shared Lane Pavement Markings or sharrows, most recently I saw the little white bike on 15th Ave E. Taken from SDOT, "Shared lane pavement markings (or “sharrows”) are bicycle symbols that are placed in the roadway lane indicating that motorists should expect to see and share the lane with bicycles. Unlike bicycle lanes, they do not designate a particular part of the roadway for the use of bicyclists." This is all a part of the Bicycle Master Plan; sharrows will make up 1/4 of the planned routes.

Some residents will argue that it doesn't do much for bicycle advocacy or make riding in Seattle that much easier - I disagree. There is an interesting discussion over at Totcycle. At this point motorists still need to be made aware of cyclists & more people need to feel comfortable & safe riding in Seattle (as if the hills aren't intimidating enough, safety makes it even scarier). In an ideal world, Seattle streets would look like Stockholm; with seperated cycletracks, three sets of lights at intersections (pedestrian, bike & motorist), & people of all walks would be riding their bikes. Until then, I'm happy about the sharrow boom. It's just a little more proof that I (cyclists) deserve my part of the road.

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