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September 01, 2012 in Sharrows | Permalink
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Anyone have insight on why DC persists in putting the sharrow-indicated bike position in the door zone?
I guess it doesn't matter until someone formally explains to DC's various road users what those symbols mean, but for those of us who do it sets up yet another situation where cyclists have to choose between doing the right thing and doing what we're told to. I mean, wouldn't I technically be liable if I got hit while riding to the left of the point of the chevron?
September 01, 2012 at 10:06 PM
"NE" not "NW"?
Read Scott Martin |
September 01, 2012 at 10:09 PM
September 01, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Sergent Rd. is in N.E. There is no Sergent Rd N.W.
September 02, 2012 at 10:10 AM
DaveS: Very good question. They did the same on 18th Street in Adams Morgan, and the defense was that, at the location some sharrows were placed, there was no adjacent parking, so it wouldn't be a big issue.
Of course, that's clearly not the case here.
September 02, 2012 at 11:50 AM
My understanding is that the guidance on sharrow placement was a compromise between transportation bicyclists that want the exceptions to FTR clarified so it is clear they can use the lane and traffic engineers/motorists that didn't want any bicyclists on the road when FTR was not safe.
Logically, if the bicyclist needs to control the lane, the sharrow should be in the middle of the lane, but the guidance specifies distance from the curb - i.e still tries to keep sharrows and bicycles out of the lane.
How is the DC placement of sharrows in general?
In Baltimore, most of the sharrows I've seen are 6' from the curb (with parking). Bicyclists can't ride over the center of the sharrows without hitting the parked cars.
DE has specifications more restrictive than national guidelines, so I doubt there will be any sharrows on state roads until there are changes at DelDOT. (DE limits sharrows to roads with parking, but on roads with parking they can put bike lanes in the door zone, so these roads don't get sharrows either.)
September 02, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Well, DC paints bike lanes that are entirely in the door zone, so maybe a sharrow at the outer edge of the door zone is a step in the right direction. While these sharrows are too close to the parked cars, they probably will encourage some cyclists (those unaware of door zone hazard) to ride a bit farther from the parked cars than without the sharrows or a door-zone bike lane.
But let's not blame the guidance. The AASHTO guidance on sharrows only provides a minimum 11' from the curb. That's clearly too far to the right, but nothing prevents DDOT from exceeding the minimum. And the MUTCD explicitly states that sharrows can be used along with R4-11 signs, which clearly implies mid-lane sharrows.
I doubt that a cyclist riding outside of the door zone will be liable for doing so, since sharrows are advisary and the DC statute clearly allows one to avoid hazards. So where there are parked cars, you are allowed to ride where you culd ride without the sharrows.
Placement of the sharrow probably does create liability for DDOT if someone is struck by a door, but less so than a door-zone bike lane.
Jim T |
September 04, 2012 at 12:41 PM
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