'Sharrows' to help cyclists

Sarah Connolly.
Sarah Connolly.
It might be a little safer for people to cycle in central Dunedin from next week.

The city council is about to begin painting ''sharrows'' on stretches of Moray Pl and King Edward St as part of a national trial.

Sharrows, short for shared-lane arrows, acted much like cycle lanes.

They use a bicycle shape and two painted arrows to remind drivers and cyclists to share the road.

The symbol also marks the route for cyclists to use.

Dunedin City Council transportation planner Sarah Connolly said about 45 of the 60cm-wide symbols would be painted on George St, from Moray Pl to Albany St, and King Edward St, from Hillside Rd to Macandrew Rd.

They would be painted in the lanes, clear of hazards such as car doors, kerb build-outs and stormwater grates.

The work would be done next week, she said.

''Sharrows ... provide a visual cue that reminds motorists cyclists are entitled to travel on the road and encourages them to act accordingly.''

Sharrows were already used in Australia, Canada and the United States but needed to be tested in New Zealand to see how they suited local conditions before a decision was made whether to formally adopt them nationally.

Auckland Transport, Wellington City Council, Nelson City Council and Palmerston North City Council are also trialling sharrows for the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

The symbols would be trialled between June and November, during which time they would be assessed via video recordings, counters and surveys of road users and feedback from businesses and residents.

The sharrows would stay in place once the trial was over, until the NZTA made its decision on them.

Not responsible

I have been riding motorcycles for the last 36 years and never had an accident.

You can be guaranteed that if i happen to collect a cyclist, it will be through no fault of mine and therefore I will not be held to account.

As far as I'm concerned, I will be responsible for my passengers and my own safety. The rest of you can be responsible for yourselves. Not my problem.  

More explanation please

As a cyclist who rides every day, this seems like a good idea where a cycle lane isn't available/practable.

I assume where these 'sharrows' are in place, then the cyclist is to ride along the signs at the same offset from the curb as the sign?  Thus avoid parked cars/other hazards.

This is liable to lead drivers to crowd/intimidate cyclist more isn't it, as most drivers still believe the cyclist should weave in and out of parked cars to allow them easy passing.  If I ride in a straight line along these 'sharrows', I will need my ear plugs from all the honking I will receive.

Is there any plan to educate the road using public as to how these 'sharrows' work? 

Anything helps

Great idea!  I'm looking forward to seeing if it makes any difference. And to speedfreak43, trust me, us cyclists don't need reminding to beware of larger traffic: there are plenty of idiots behind the wheels of cars to remind us that we are at a complete disadvantage if we collide with them.

Good idea for George St

As George St is narrow and busy with all sorts of road users from pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, these should work well there. If the sharrows are placed well, at least 1m out from the parked cars, they will help motorists and cyclists be aware of where the safest place to cycle is.

The NZ Road Code for cyclists states that you should cycle at least 1m from parked cars, to prevent dooring from opening car doors. Opening car doors from people not looking before opening, has caused a few cycling deaths in Dunedin and NZ. Hopefully this will help prevent this kind of accident.

All road users need to be responsible while using this public space. If you are not able to share the space safely with all other road users, you should take another form of transport that minimises your responsibility. The more damage your choice of transport can inflict, means you have a greater responsibility. We do this for other weapons in our society. i.e. hands vs a knife vs a gun. 

Put the onus on the cyclists

Cyclists are always complaining about drivers having more awareness, well it goes both ways. I don't understand how having rear view mirrors is not compulsory on bicycles as it is with every other vehicle on the road. If they are on the road they should have to comply with vehicle laws in my opinion.
I have witnessed far too many cyclists swerving out into traffic without a clue of what's behind them, more so when they have headphones in. Come on cyclists, accept your responsibilties, drivers do their fair share (excuse the pun). 

We don't need reminding

We don't need reminding that there may be idiots on bicycles on the road. Most of us motorists have likely come close to collecting one. A better plan would be to paint images of cars in the same area to remind the cyclists to beware of larger traffic.

Good idea for a change

This markings are a good idea: cycles and other vehicles sharing the road, rather than parking being removed and the transport network being constricted and disrupted by cycle lanes everywhere.


They're widely used in Europe too: seen on many Parisian streets back in 2011.

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