Q&A on the New Bike Signage in University Circle
New "Bikes May Use Full Lane" signage has been installed on Euclid Avenue, Ford Drive, Mayfield Road and E 115th Street.
These signs remind motorists to keep an eye out for people on bikes, and encourage safe road use for car drivers and bicyclists alike.
Why would a bike ride in the middle of the lane?
Being a predictable bicyclist is one of the most important safety rules for urban cycling. Being predictable means traveling in a straight line, being visible, and not weaving in and out of parked cars. People on bikes are much more visible to motorists when they ride in the center of the lane. If they're riding in the center of the lane, they don't have to worry about getting "doored" by a parked
car or changing their position on the road to get around cars parked on-street.
On many roads, bicycling close to the curb can give the false appearance that there is room for a car to pass safely without changing lanes. By "taking the lane," people on bikes signal to car drivers that they should pass carefully and leave enough space, rather than trying to squeeze by in the same lane as the cyclist.
What are the bike icons in the middle of the street?
Shared pavement markings (also referred to as "sharrows") are road markings used to indicate a shared travel lane for bicycles and automobiles. Shared pavement markings reinforce the legitimacy of bicycle traffic on the street and recommend proper bicyclist positioning. Notice they are positioned in the center of the lane, not off to the side.
Can a motorist pass a cyclist riding in the middle of the lane?
It depends. You can pass a cyclist as long as you can leave 3 feet between your car and the person riding a bicycle. The safest way to pass is by changing lanes. If there is only one lane in the direction you're traveling, you are permitted to cross the double yellow line when passing a cyclist as long as you leave three feet when passing and there is no oncoming traffic.
Do other cities use these signs?
A recent study
indicates that "Bikes May Use Full Lane" signage is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness of bikes and comprehension of roadway rules.
The City of Columbus is considering phasing out "Share the Road" signage in favor of "Bikes May Use Full Lane" signage.
Read more about why