On Saturday the city began installing the first of approximately 80 lane miles of bike sharrows that will be placed along specific corridors in the city. The pilot corridors will include Meadow from Broad to Cary, and Harrison from Broad to Idlewood.
Sharrows are shared lane markings that are utilized to improve bicycling conditions on roads where designated bike lanes are either infeasible or inappropriate due to traffic conditions. Sharrows are a simple, yet visible way of improving conditions for bicyclists while also reinforcing safe and appropriate bicycling habits which in turn make bicyclists more predictable in mixed traffic conditions. The pilot sharrows are located at regular intervals in both directions.
“These marking will remind motorists that the road is shared with cyclists; encourage motorists to pass safely and should reduce wrong-way bicycling,” said Mayor Jones. “The mild weekend weather allowed us to move forward with getting some markings on the ground which helps with a phased-in approach to introducing sharrows in our city as both motorist and cyclists begin to make the adjustment. I am pleased that we can begin creating awareness and understanding of the functions of sharrows in advance of the more widespread installation that will take place in the spring of 2012.”
Sharrows consist of a large chevron and bicycle symbol. From start to finish the project will cost about $775 thousand, with most of the funds coming from the Federal Government grant for “congestion mitigation air quality” projects. Funds for sharrows are also in the city’s capital improvement plan for Fiscal Year 2012, which was approved by Richmond City Council following the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Planning Commission recommendations.