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What is a sharrow?

January 5, 2012

The following clip was taken from the article Coexisting with Bicyclists: 10 Rules for Drivers:

“Drivers who get impatient with bicyclists might want to stop for a moment and think about the human being on that bike, says Bob Mionske, a Portland cycling attorney and cyclist: What if that rider was my friend, a friend of a friend, or a neighbor? Somehow, seeing bicyclists that way makes people a little more patient, he says. When drivers don’t humanize cyclists this way, he finds, they often perceive riders as mere objects.

If you can pinpoint the moment when a bicyclist is starting to irritate you — because you can’t see where he is going or because he’s moving slowly and is making you late — picture him as a family member or friend. That might calm you down, Mionske says.”

Quote from fellow JBC member, Katie Smith:

“Sharrows are used only where it is UNSAFE to allow a bicycle and a car to occupy the same horizontal space in a lane usually due to extremely narrow roads. These markings are present in this area for well under a mile where a car cannot pass in another lane. That road’s speed limit reflects the surrounding residential area, so in general, the overall speed of traffic should not be decreased due to the presence of a bike by more than 15 mph, resulting in a delay of perhaps a couple of minutes for a car trip. Those two minutes allow someone on a bicycle to safely commute to their own destination.


Sharrow – shar·row/ˈsharō/:

The Shared-Lane Pavement Marking, used to enhance the safe travel of bicycles and motor vehicles in the same traffic lane.

A pavement marking which tells bicyclists where to safely ride, and alerts motorists where to expect bicycles.

The Sharrow:

  • Helps position bicyclists on narrow lanes, where cars and bikes cannot travel side-by-side safely
  • Guides bicyclists to a safe position next to parking lanes, outside the “Door Zone”
  • Alerts motorists to where bicycles may use the full lane, as Florida law allows
  • Encourages safe passing
  • Reduces wrong-way bicycling

Under Florida law, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Jacksonville embraces safe alternate transportation.

Bike Safe.

Drive Safe.

Share the Lane.

Download this semi-high res image (it’s 150 dpi. not quite 300 dpi, but good enough). You can print as large as 11″ X 17″. Print out several and post them up in appropriate establishments around town:

Download this semi-high res image (150 dpi). You can print as large as 11"X17".

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