North Little Rock, Arkansas is to be among the first communities in the state to add the shared lane markings known as “sharrows” to some of their streets:
A new pavement marking that bicyclists hope drives home the message that motorists must share the road with them is on its way to central Arkansas.
It is known as the shared lane marking, or sharrow.
The marking, intended initially for qualified roadways popular with bicyclists, is chiefly designed to alert motorists that bicyclists may be on the road and signal to bicyclists their proper place on the road, said Casey Covington, an official with Metroplan, the long-range transportation agency for central Arkansas.
“Sharrows have been used on lower-speed urban roadways throughout the United States and have generally been accepted by bicyclists throughout the United States, and those in the engineering profession,” he said.
“It looks like they are trying to conform to what will become or hope to become a national standard,” said Jim Britt, president of the Arkansas Bicycle Club. “It’s the beginning of recognition that bicyclists are out there. We’re just trying to make use of the streets and get somewhere [just like motorists]. “We still get people who don’t think bicycles are supposed to be on city streets.”
Britt sees the sharrows as a less expensive alternative for communities that have planned bicycle lanes. “They are a fairly easy and cheap thing for local governments to do,” he said. “City planners think we need dedicated bike lanes. It’s difficult to come up with that extra space.”
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