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. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  2. The facade of a casino in Atlantic City.
    Photos

    Photographing the Trumpian Urbanism of Atlantic City

    Brian Rose’s new book uses the deeply troubled New Jersey city as a window into how a developer-turned-president operates.

  3. a rendering of the moon village with a view of Earth
    Design

    Designing the First Full-Time Human Habitat on the Moon

    SOM, in partnership with the ESA and MIT, wants to accommodate research and maybe even tourism on the moon.

  4. Maria Romano stands behind one of her three children, Jennifer, 10, as she gets something to eat in their Harlem apartment in New York Thursday, June 3, 2005
    Equity

    Why HUD Wants to Restrict Assistance for Immigrants

    A proposal by Ben Carson’s agency would eject immigrant families from public housing to make way for the "most vulnerable." Housing advocates aren't buying it.

  5. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.