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Have you heard the buzz about sharrows?

Posted: 2007-12-20

San Rafael sharrows

You may have seen some new pavement markings on San Rafael streets lately. These symbols, called "sharrows" (a combination of "share" plus "arrow"), are sending a message to drivers to expect to see bicyclists, as well as reminding cyclists to ride outside of the door zone.

In 2004, San Francisco began testing the sharrow marking on streets with no bike lanes and high cyclist use. Studies found that the sharrow markings improved cyclist lane position and reduced the incidence of wrong-way riding. Since then, several communities around the nation are participating in a Federal Highway Administration test of sharrows.

California is the only state to permit sharrows by including them in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CAMUTCD), which authorizes their use in California communities. It is expected that sharrows will soon be adopted into the national MUTCD, allowing more cities and counties to use them.

In Marin County, the City of San Rafael recently installed 204 sharrow markings on 14 routes throughout the city. The project was funded by a Transportation Funds for Clean Air (TFCA) grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).

San Rafael’s goals in installing sharrows is to a) communicate to drivers to expect bicyclists on this route; b) encourage cyclists to ride out of the door zone; c) raise the visibility of the San Rafael network of bicycle routes.

Sharrows have been installed on the following routes:

  1. Canal Street (all)

  2. Fourth Street (between D St. and Union) to connect to the sharrows planned as part of the West End Village project

  3. Greenfield Avenue and West End Avenue (all within City limits)

  4. Nova Albion Way (all)

  5. Third Street (between Grand Avenue and City limits)

  6. West Castlewood Drive (in front of Glenwood Elementary School)

  7. Golden Hinde Blvd. (all)

  8. Bellam Blvd. (between I-580 ramps and eastern end)

  9. Woodland Ave. (between City limits and Irwin Ave.)

  10. Irwin Ave. (between Lincoln Ave. and City limits)

  11. Grand Ave. (between Francisco Blvd. East and Linden Lane)

  12. Andersen Drive (between 2nd St. and the start of the bike lanes at Lindaro St.)

  13. Freitas Parkway (between Montecillo Rd. and Marin Open Space at the western end)

  14. Taylor St. (between D St. and B St.)

For more information, see this Marin IJ article about San Rafael sharrows.

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