Sharrow the Road: Symbol Reminds Drivers and Cyclists to Be Aware

Sharrow the Road: Symbol Reminds Drivers and Cyclists to Be Aware

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
sharrow on College Road

A sharrow on College Road reminds cyclists and drivers to share the road.

Cyclists and drivers are getting a little help from UNH and the Town of Durham in reminding them to share the road.

Garrison Avenue and College Road both have newly-added “sharrows," a national symbol that indicates a shared travel lane. The marking, used in Australia, Canada and other parts of the U.S., alerts drivers that a bicyclist may be using the road.

At UNH, sharrows are being used in places where there isn’t space for a dedicated bike lane, on roadways with speeds of 25 mph or less, and in zones with high bike usage. Often, a sharrow replaces or supplements the traditional yellow ‘share the road’ signs.

“These sharrows will, I hope, remind cyclists and motorists alike (and most of us are both!) that we always need to share the road, whether or not there’s a dedicated bike path. Cyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists, and should obey the same laws,” says avid cyclist and UNH employee Beth Potier, who bikes to work year-round.

New Hampshire law states that vehicles must leave a 3-foot minimum gap when passing a bicycle; that gap increases with speed. (4 feet at 40 mph; 5 feet at 50 mph, etc.).

UNH and Durham will look at future opportunities for installing sharrows and bike lanes (bicycles only) as roads are resurfaced and or reconstructed.

There are bike lanes in Durham on Main Street from downtown to Route 155A, on portions of College Road, Madbury Road, Faculty Road, and Mast Road Extension.  Route 108 north to Dover has a bike shoulder and in the next two years, bike lanes will be added to the southern portion of the road.