If you’ve driven down Hall Street since construction was completed, you may have noticed new bike lanes and sharrows, fulfilling a priority of the City's Mobility/Bike Action Plan.
What’s the difference between bike lanes and sharrows? Running curbside when no parking is present, bike lanes enable cyclists to ride at their preferred speed without interference from traffic and facilitate predictable behavior and movements between bicyclists and motorists. Conventional bike lanes run adjacent to parked cars on the right-hand side of the street or on the left-hand side of the street in specific situations. Conventional bike lane benefits include:
- Increasing bicyclist comfort and confidence on busy streets.
- Creating separation between bicyclists and automobiles.
- Increasing predictability of bicyclist and motorist positioning and interaction.
- Increasing total capacities of streets carrying mixed bicycle and motor vehicle traffic.
- Visually reminding motorists of bicyclists’ right to the street.
Sharrows, or shared lane markings where there is on-street parking, reinforce the legitimacy of bicycle traffic on the street and recommend proper bicyclist positioning. The shared lane marking is a pavement marking with a variety of uses to support a complete bikeway network. Sharrows are utilized on sections of Hall Street for this purpose where on-street parking is maintained and designate. Sharrow marking benefits include:
- Alerting motor vehicle drivers to the potential presence of bicyclists.
- Alerting road users of the lateral position bicyclists are expected to occupy within the travel lane.
- Advertising the presence of bikeway routes to all users.
- Providing a wayfinding element along bike routes.
- Demonstrated to increase the distance between bicyclists and parked cars, keeping bicyclists out of the “door zone.”
- Encouraging safe passing by motorists.
- Requiring no additional street space.
- Reducing the incidence of sidewalk riding.
- Reducing the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.