I’ve often felt that the “share the road” message has done little to make roads any safer for anyone. So it was heartening to read of a new study from North Carolina State University that looked at whether people actually understand what those signs mean.
Sharrows (also known as “shared lane markings”) are on-street pavement markings that are intended to remind people in cars to expect people on bikes on a street. They help to indicate bike routes, and they are useful to help people on bikes position themselves in the road.
Commercial Street, the main drag through town, is one-way for cars and two-way for bikes. It’s very narrow (about 22 feet, and narrower in places), has a narrow sidewalk of about 36″ on one side, with a parking lane next to the sidewalk for most of the street. The speed limit is typically signed 15 MPH.
Town has started enforcing the bicycle parking bylaw that prohibits locking bikes to street trees. A bike found locked to a tree will have its lock cut and be removed immediately. Plus there’s a $50 fine for violating a town bylaw.
According to the town’s beautification committee, trees get damaged by having bikes repeatedly locked to them. There are very few street trees in town — Commercial Street has only nine street trees, and they’re all relatively recent additions to the streetscape.
Another member of the Bicycle Committee posted a picture of one of these signs on Facebook recently, and the discussion there was lively. Should these signs be removed? Probably. Will they be? Probably not.
There are a number of these “No Bicycles on Poles” signs on the poles along Standish St. next to the beach taxi parking spaces for Art’s Dune Tours. They’ve been there as long as anyone can remember. And they’re completely unenforceable. Continue reading No Bicycles on Poles?