Sharrows Come to Blacksburg
In spring 2011, a new pavement marking will be used in Blacksburg: a sharrow. What’s a sharrow? It’s a shared-lane pavement marking that consists of a bicycle with two chevron markings above it. The purpose of a sharrow is to remind vehicle operators to share the road when driving or riding in town.
Sharrows are designed for use in areas too narrow for a separate bike lane and have several applications for improving interactions between cyclists and motorists:
- Sharrows tend to keep bicyclists from riding too close to parked vehicles, which puts them at risk for unexpected opening car doors.
- With sharrows on the road, motorists tend to give more space to bicyclists that they pass.
- Sharrows help reduce wrong-way riding by bicyclists.
- They help decrease aggressive bicycle-car interactions.
- They can help reduce the level of pedestrian-to-bicycle conflicts on sidewalks.
All signs and pavement marking designs and uses are defined by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD was revised in 2009 and included the sharrow.
The City of Alexandria, Virginia put together an excellent FAQ page that you can access here.
As the pavement markings are added, we’ll update the website so you can go out and check them out!