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New sharrow markings in NW

Posted by on September 28th, 2005 at 9:54 am

“Sharrow” lane markings have just been painted on a few streets in NW Portland. Here’s an excerpt from the official news release from the City of Portland:

The Portland Office of Transportation began installing “shared lane pavement markings” on three streets in northwest and southwest Portland today. Known as “sharrows,” these markings are intended to help cyclists better position themselves on roadways where bicycle lanes are the recommended treatment, but which cannot be striped for varying reasons.

They are 10 feet long and are part of federal experiment to monitor their effectiveness. They have already been adopted in San Francisco, CA and are standard treatment in that state.

Many thanks to City of Vancouver bicycle coordinator Todd Boulanger for these photos. You can see more of them on the photostream.

Sharrow markings in NW Portland Sharrow markings in NW Portland

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12 thoughts on “New sharrow markings in NW”

  1. Avatar Jessica Roberts says:

    I went out to visit these last night, and they look great!!! I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable taking the lane between Burnside and Everett if the light is green, as the cars get up a lot of speed down that hill as they cross Burnside. I did it anyway, but I noticed that I felt much more comfortable doing that with these beautiful, LARGE, visible markings!

  2. Avatar Nate says:

    This may be a little off the immediate topic, but I was curious about the laws regarding newly repaved roads. I was under the impression that new or repaved roads need to have bike lanes if possible. I noticed large sections of SE 39th being repaved but there definitely were no signs of bicycle lanes/sharrows being added. That street needs some bike lovin’ too, because its super high traffic & has small sidewalks – making it precarious accessing businesses & homes along the street.

  3. Avatar Jessica Roberts says:

    The Bicycle Bill says that when roads are “constructed or reconstructed,” bicycle and pedestrian facilities must be provided. This has been interpreted through precedent to mean that the Bicycle Bill is applicable when a road is built where no road was before OR when the curb widths change. The definition of “reconstructed” doesn’t include maintenance resurfacing, as was done on 39th.

    We should note as well that bicycle lanes aren’t the appropriate treatment for all streets. I wonder what Roger Geller, Portland’s Bicycle Coordinator, would recommend for 39th…if it were to have bike lanes, the street would have to be widened, which doesn’t seem very likely, what with all the buildings there. It also depends on how the street is classified in the Transportation System Plan, or TSP. My guess is that, if bicycle facilities were added, sharrows would be the way to go, but I don’t think anyone’s planning on doing anything to 39th in the near future.

    There’s a really good parallel route to 39th through much of Southeast that I recommend; have you tried that? Here’s a description, and I’m guessing the bicycle boulevard markings should be going in on this street soon to make it clearer without needing a map.

  4. Avatar Jessica Roberts says:

    Here’s a nice article in the Oregonian about them by Wade Nkrumah.

  5. Avatar Nate says:

    Good info that I’ll have to look into more. Thank you, I appreciate it.

  6. Greetings from Toronto 🙂 Cyclists here feel that we are on the brink of a major velorution for our currently smog-laden city. Learning about initiatives such as these Sharrows are key to our lobby efforts (thank you!). There has already been response from City Council on the idea, but they need to know if there have been any studies or indication as to the effect of the Sharrows on safety for cyclists. Any direction would be of help.
    Cheers!

  7. Avatar Jessica Roberts says:

    Marge, here’s a link to the San Francisco study that started it all–they found improved, safer lane positioning for riders as a result of the markings. It may be useful in petitioning your leaders, as it can show proven results.

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