Sharrows

The City of North Bay will be introducing shared lane pavement markings, or sharrows, on some streets. The purpose of sharrows - two chevrons painted above a bicycle symbol - is to remind cyclists and drivers to share the road. Although you should always keep on the lookout for bicyclists, this serves as an additional warning to watch for them in the lane. 

 

A sharrow lane marking is two chevrons painted above a bicycle symbol.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sharrows

Sharrows are used to indicate to both motorists and cyclists the appropriate line of travel for cyclists.

  • Where shared lanes are wide enough for cyclists to ride alongside motorists, sharrows are applied near the curb.

  • Where shared lanes are too narrow for cyclists to ride alongside motorists, the sharrows are placed in the centre of the lane.

No. Sharrows are used in lanes that are shared by motorists and cyclists. 

Sharing the road means motorists should:

  • only pass a cyclist where there is enough room to to do safely (at least one metre between motorist and cyclist),
  • reduce your speed when passing a cyclist
  • watch for cyclists when making lane changes and turns.

Sharrows are used in curb lanes, e.g. beside the curb or parked cars. They are also painted in the middle of narrow roadway lanes where there is not enough room for a cyclist to travel alongside a motorist.

Bike lanes are a dedicated space for cyclists where motorists are not allowed to park, stop or drive. Bike lanes are painted on the road with bicycle symbols and a solid white line.

In comparison, sharrows are used in lanes that are shared by motorists and cyclists. Travel lanes with sharrows do not have a separate white line indicating a dedicated cycling area. Instead, chevrons and a bicycle symbol are used to indicate where cyclists should ride, and where motorists should expect to see cyclists.

Bicycle lanes are preferred to sharrows for cycling traffic but not all streets have enough room for bicycle lanes due to high demand for on-street parking and/or the inability to eliminate or narrow regular traffic lanes.  

On streets where bicycle lanes cannot be accomodated, the city will use sharrow markings instead.

Sharing the Road on Memorial Drive

Sharrows and Share the Road signage are being coupled with advisory bike lanes as part of a pilot project on Memorial Drive. A total of 14 Share the Road Signs and 14 sharrows will be installed every 400 metres along the roadway to further clarify that cyclists and motorists are sharing the road.