Council to carry cost of sharrows, monitoring

The cost of a Dunedin trial of ''sharrows'' - symbols painted on roads to tell motorists the roads are to be shared with cyclists - will be carried by the city council.

The five-month trial, which includes monitoring of how the sharrows are working, will begin next week, when contractors start painting the sharrows - symbols of bicycles with two chevrons above - on parts of George St and King Edward St.

Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly said the sharrows - part of a national trial the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will consider before making them legal road markings - would cost the council $1684 to install and $12,000 to monitor during the five-month trial.

Monitoring involves video recordings, counters, surveys of road users and gathering feedback from businesses and residents.

If the trial was not successful and the sharrows needed to be removed, which she hoped would not be necessary, there would be an additional cost of $9000.

All the money was coming from existing transportation budgets, which are partly funded by the NZTA.

Councils applied to take part in the trial.

The sharrows would be painted in the lanes where vehicles would have to drive over them, as per guidance from Auckland Transport, which was also taking part in the trial, Ms Connolly said.

Auckland Transport had advised it was important vehicles travelled over the sharrows so their intended meaning, that the road was to be shared by motorists and cyclists, was realised.

''If drivers are able to drive past or around the sharrow, I don't think the intent of the marking rings true for drivers, and the markings stray into indicating a safe place for cyclists to ride, not that the road space is shared with drivers.''

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

 

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