Share the road

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At 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, the Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its monthly meeting a the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services administration building at 1401 Recreation Way. The topic of discussion will the the "DRAFT" guidelines for Shared Lane Markings, or sharrows.

According to the city website, "City staff has developed a DRAFT set of guidelines which will be used when picking locations for Shared Lane Markings. The draft is based on federal guidelines, other communities' guidelines, and public feedback received this far. Staff will continue to revise the guidelines based on observations at the initial location and public comment."

You can view the guidelines here.

Shared Lane Markings are a relatively new pavement marking. They were approved for use nationally by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in December 2009 after several years of research and testing in various cities around the U.S.

Traffic Engineering will be installing the markings at some locations around the community this year. The initial set will be installed on Tejon Avenue between Cache Le Poudre and Willamette by the May 30 deadline established by City Council. After the initial installation, staff will observe behavior at the location before placing them in other locations.

Studies of shared lane markings from other communities have shown several benefits:

• Bicyclists position themselves further from parked cars to stay out of the door zone
• Passing motorists give more room to bicyclists
• Fewer bicyclists ride on the sidewalk
• Fewer bicyclists ride the wrong way

Shared lane markings are not a replacement for bicycle lanes, but are used only in certain circumstances such as a disconnect in the existing bike lane network, a lack of parallel routes, slow vehicle speeds, significant bicycle traffic, and an inability to remove parking to add a bike lane. Shared lane markings can also be used in circumstances where a bicycle lane might be desired but has proven unfeasible at this time.

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