An Ohio city will replace those ineffective “Share the Road” signs with a less ambiguous alternative.

Typically, the worst part of my morning bicycle commute involves a stretch of heavily trafficked street protected by a famously useless combination of signage: painted “sharrows” on the roadway and a bright yellow diamond-shaped plea to “Share the Road.” As CityLab and many bike advocates have observed, these vague and oft-misunderstood directives aren’t worth the paint they consume. If anything, they seem to incite harrowing displays of aggression from drivers who think it gives them license to shove past bicyclists who aren’t doing their share of lane-sharing.    

Now Columbus, Ohio, is joining the ranks of similarly enlightened communities across North America that are mothballing these share-please signs and replacing them with a more assertive variation: “Bikes Can Use Full Lane.” Available since 2009, these signs have proved to be a vastly more effective way to encourage drivers to maintain a safe distance from riders on narrow roads. In an interview with Columbus Underground, the city bicycle coordinator, Scott Ulrich, called the alternative phrasing “the most consistently comprehended” message for motorists. The new signs are also white rectangles (indicating proper lane usage), instead of the typical yellow diamond of warning signs. “We believe it is more appropriate to treat bicyclists less like potential hazards and more like the legal road users that they are, and to remind other road users of that fact,” Ulrich said.

H/t Next City

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Police line up outside the White House in Washington, D.C. as protests against the killing of George Floyd continue.
    Perspective

    America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress

    Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and welfare through the spaces we design. As the George Floyd protests reveal, we’ve failed.

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. Equity

    What Happened to Crime in Camden?

    Often ranked as one of the deadliest cities in America, Camden, New Jersey, ended 2017 with its lowest homicide rate since the 1980s.

  4. Four New York City police officers arresting a man.
    Equity

    The Price of Defunding the Police

    A new report fleshes out the controversial demand to cut police department budgets and reallocate those funds into healthcare, housing, jobs, and schools. Will that make communities of color safer?

  5. A participant holding a Defund Police sign at the protest in Brooklyn.
    Equity

    To Defund the Police, Activists Rewrote City Budgets

    As national protesters call for defunding police, a movement for anti-racist “people’s budgets” is spreading from LA to Nashville to Grand Rapids.

×