How Are Those Sharrows Working Out for You?

In July the City of Rye began using “sharrows” on Forest Avenue. That’s short for “shared-lane marking arrows”, which are designed to remind motorists they’re sharing the road with bicyclists and to remind bicyclists they’re sharing the road with motorists.

Published September 20, 2012 10:42 PM
2 min read

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By Sol Hurwitz

In July the City of Rye began using “sharrows” painted by https://www.outdoor-surface-painting.co.uk/ on Forest Avenue. That’s short for “shared-lane marking arrows”, which are designed to remind motorists they’re sharing the road with bicyclists and to remind bicyclists they’re sharing the road with motorists.

I saw my friend Bob parking his bike at Playland Market, and I decided to get his take on the idea.

“What do you think of the sharrows?” I asked.

“The what?” he replied.

“The sharrows — shared lane marking arrows. You know — those bike symbols and arrows painted on Forest Avenue. They’re supposed to encourage motorists to share the road with cyclists like you.”

“You jest,” said Bob with a smirk. “Yesterday a truck came so close to me it forced me over the curb and into a lady’s flower garden.”

“Bad luck,” I said sympathetically. “That’s not supposed to happen. They’re supposed to share the road.”

“Not in my lifetime,” Bob retorted.

A truck driver was unloading crates of soda, so I decided to get his thoughts on the subject.

“What do you think of the sharrows?” I asked.

“The what?” the trucker answered.

“The sharrows — those bike symbols painted on the road out there,” I replied.  “They’re supposed to remind you to share the road with bikers.”

“Are you on drugs?” he exclaimed. “I don’t do sharing. I deliver soda. If a biker gets near me, he’s risking his life.”

“I get your point,” I answered.

My neighbor Felicity was passing by on her run, and I stopped her mid-stride.

“Hi, Felicity,” I said.  “You must have noticed the sharrows on Forest during your run.”

“The what?”

“Those bike symbols painted on the road.”

“What about them?” she said, dodging a runner pushing a two-child jogging stroller.

“They’re supposed to remind motorists and bikers to share the road.”

“Well I can tell you one thing,” said Felicity as she started her stretches. “They’re making life miserable for walkers and runners like me.”

“How so?” I asked.

“The cars and trucks push the bikers to the side of the road, so there’s no room for walkers and runners. The other day, I fell over a Home Depot lawn bag to avoid a bike that was avoiding a truck.”

“A runner like you needs her exercise,” I said. “What are you going to do about it?”

“I’m joining the Rye Y and hitting the pool: 50 laps a day and not a bit of traffic in my lane.”

 

 

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