Motorists in Green Bay will be asked to yield to bicyclists on portions of downtown streets being converted to shared use lanes this summer.
Known as sharrows, the shared use lanes have been added to city streets across the country to make commuters more comfortable on bicycles. Often set away from the curb and in a traditional traffic lane, the sharrows have additional markings and encourage motorists to slow and move over to pass bicyclists.
Check out the video below for a visual explanation.
“The advantage they offer is alerting motorists to expect to see bicycles on the road and expect to have to go around them because the lane is not quite wide enough for bikes and motor vehicles to operate side by side,” said Dave Schlabowske, communications director for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.
“They also indicate to people on bicycles it is a bike route, which reduces sidewalk riding, indicate direction and lane position,” he said.
The sharrows reduce incidents in which bicyclists are hit by motorists opening car doors by keeping riders outside the worst part of the door zone.
In Green Bay, the chevrons and bike lane symbols will be painted on Washington, Crooks and Cherry streets, among others. It’s part of a larger project to add roughly 4.5 miles of bike lanes, at a cost of $65,000.
The funding will be provided through a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation blockgGrant.
City Planner Nic Sparacio said the plan for the sharrow and bike lanes was developed in cooperation with Sustainable Green Bay.
The goal is “to make the downtown more bicycle friendly and encourage more people to use bicycling as a way to get around.
“The downtown is a great place to start adding more bicycle facilities to the community,” Sporacio said. “There are many bicyclists already present in and around the downtown. If this goes well, we could look at creating additional bike lanes and sharrow lanes in other places in the community."
Sparacio said bicycling in the city increased during the previous gas price spike and is likely to do so again as the price per gallon approaches $4.