Cyclists And New Road Markings
October 8, 2014
Cyclists use bikes as a way to stay in shape, save money or to help protect the environment. Whatever the reason, cycling is growing in popularity and there are more and more bicycles on the roads. Bike sharing is also growing in popularity and bike sharing programs are showing up on major university campuses and in most of the major cities in the US.
Unfortunately, with the increase in cyclists on the road the number of cyclists killed in traffic collisions is also on the rise. In 2012, 726 cyclists were killed and 49,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. With both the popularity of cycling and the number of cycling fatalities on the rise, demands are becoming louder to protect cyclists on the road and traffic engineers are looking at new ways to do just that.
Here are a few road markings designed to make the road safer for cyclists that you may already be familiar with or that you may see in the near future.
The first and probably the most familiar type of lane markings are bicycle lanes. These lanes are set aside for cyclists and they are identified by the image of a cyclist. In some places, the lane may be painted green. No parking is allowed in these lanes. You may enter the lane in preparation for a right turn but only after checking to make sure the lane is clear of cyclists that may be coming up from behind.
Sharrows are lanes that are shared by both cyclists and motorists. Motorists need to be careful and understand that cyclists may move into the center of the lane to avoid obstacles or potholes and they may move to the left in preparation for a left turn. They are marked with the image of a bicycle with two chevrons on top.
Advanced Stop Line
The advanced stop line is painted just before the stop line and crosswalk. This area is also marked with the sharrow image. It allows cyclists to to make left turns or to proceed across an intersection in a safer manner. Motor vehicle traffic must stop at the stop line before the bicycle images.
Bike boxes are essentially the same thing as an advanced stop line. They will be painted green. Motorists must stop before the bike box.