The next version of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is due out really soon now. The MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide. The next release will include sharrows, which we’ve talked about both online and in our monthly meetings. They appear to be an attractive marking for older cities and towns that don’t have a lot of extra road real estate for dedicated bike lanes. Sharrows show motorists that bicycles do belong in the roadway, in particular that they shouldn’t be riding in the door zone, the gutter, etc.
A recent article about sharrows in San Franciso was picked up by the New York Times. The article serves as a reminder of how critical it is for the city and state governments to understand the needs of cyclists and the conditions under which they ride; it’s not enough to simply put down some paint on the roadway. The city and state government will likely never employ enough cyclists to provide them with appropriate feedback on all projects. This is why we need each and every one of you to join us and help provide productive feedback to our municipalities and help them understand what it’s like to be a transportational cyclist.