Historic City News readers in St Augustine will find that traffic, on both sides of the Bridge of Lions, is backed up to a standstill as installation begins on a new road marking, known as a “sharrow”, along the traffic lanes of SR-A1A.
Florida Department of Transportation Public Information Director, Gina Busscher, told local Historic City News reporters that the congestion will continue since one traffic lane across the bridge must remain open for emergencies.
Assistant District Traffic Operations Engineer, Chris LeDew, said the “sharrow” or “Shared Lane Pavement Marking” would bring awareness for drivers to expect bicycle riders.
Use of the “Sharrow”
• Enhances the safe travel of bicycles and motor vehicles in the same traffic lane.
• Helps position bicyclists on narrow lanes, where cars and bikes cannot travel side-by-side safely.
• Alerts motorists to where bicycles may use the full lane, as Florida law allows.
• Tells bicyclists where to safely ride and alerts motorists where to expect bicycles.
• Guides bicyclists to a safe position next to parking lanes, outside the “door zone,” where a parked car’s opened door may hit bicyclists.
• Encourages safe passing.
• Reduces wrong-way bicycling.
A sharrow is used to mark narrow roadways where a full bike lane will not fit and there is not enough room for a car to pass a bicycle and still achieve the required 3-foot passing width. The markings are used to enhance safe bicycling and to bring awareness of bicyclists’ rights to ride in the road.
“In this case, it is necessary for a bicyclist to “take the lane” and ride in front of motorists, rather than beside them,” LeDew told Historic City News. “Bicyclists who are uncomfortable riding in traffic can still ride on the bridge sidewalk, as long as they yield to pedestrians.”
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News staff photographer