Sharrows in the MUTCD

Sharrows are simply shared lane markings. They raise bike awareness among drivers and assist bicyclists with lane positioning, avoiding the "dooring zone," and riding in the right direction (with traffic). The city just completed the sharrow installation on Joseph E Lowery Boulevard in the West End - check them out!

Here's the guidance from the 2009 MUTCD in case you were wondering:

Section 9C.07 Shared Lane Marking

Option:
01 The Shared Lane Marking shown in Figure 9C-9 may be used to:

Figure 9C-9 Shared Lane Marking

Thumbnail image of Figure 9C-9

1. Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist's impacting the open door of a parked vehicle,
2. Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane,
3. Alert road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way,
4. Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists, and
5. Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

Guidance:
02 The Shared Lane Marking should not be placed on roadways that have a speed limit above 35 mph.

Standard:
03 Shared Lane Markings shall not be used on shoulders or in designated bicycle lanes.

Guidance:
04 If used in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking, Shared Lane Markings should be placed so that the centers of the markings are at least 11 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.

05 If used on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel lane that is less than 14 feet wide, the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.

06 If used, the Shared Lane Marking should be placed immediately after an intersection and spaced at intervals not greater than 250 feet thereafter.

Option:
07 Section 9B.06 describes a Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign that may be used in addition to or instead of the Shared Lane Marking to inform road users that bicyclists might occupy the travel lane.

Comments

I'll admit that I was a

I'll admit that I was a naysayer about sharrows: I didn't understand the lateral positioning aspect of sharrows, and I wondered why it was necessary to explicitly state that bicycles are welcome on a roadway when bicycles are supposedly welcome on EVERY (non-highway) road.

But I regularly bike Clifton RD to and from work. And I often use Jackson ST/Parkway DR/Charles Allen DR to go clubbing on weekends -- and I can attest that the sharrows have made a noticeable improvement in my experience as a cyclist on these thoroughfares.

I appreciate the City of Atlanta and ABC for having more foresight than I did about them, and I hope we'll be seeing a lot more of them around.