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Re: shared lane markings  John Forester
 Jan 25, 2007 17:03 PST 

I had suggested that we would have problems with sharrows: "Of course
they will often be painted at inappropriate places of the roadway.
Road painting being first designed and then performed by two groups
of people equally misguided about cycling will always produce errors."

To which Richard C. Moeur commented: "As for the concern of
mis-placement of the marking: As a professional in a public
transportation agency, I would be very very reluctant to knowingly
violate a Standard condition established in the MUTCD."

And Michael Graff then suggested my meaning: "I suspect Forester's
point is that the proposed standard allows the marking to be in
places/positions some of us consider inappropriate" ... with some details.

Well, that's part of it, Michael. I have not read the MUTCD proposal,
but I offer the following two points. The first is that the concept
of sharrows is theoretically impossible to properly implement. As I
understand it, painting a sharrow on the roadway, say at milepost
1.53, designates the appropriate lateral position for any cyclist
coming along the roadway and passing that milepost. That's absurd,
contrafactual. The second point is that we have quite strict
standards for bike lane markings, but despite those standards, in
many places we have bike lane markings that magnify the danger, that
are even praised for doing so. Required by ignorant politicians,
designed by compliant or ignorant traffic engineers or bikeway
planners, and painted by people who try to follow the design but often fail.

I fail to see better results from sharrows, except it appears that
they are less harmful than stripes.

John Forester, MS, PE
Bicycle Transportation Engineer
7585 Church St.
Lemon Grove, CA 91945-2306
619-644-5481 www.johnforester.com
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