Among the Strategic Directives in the Grand Junction Strategic Plan adopted by City Council is Planning & Infrastructure. One of the success metrics of the directive addresses continuing to enhance the bicycle friendliness of our community. As a result, the City of Grand Junction’s Public Works Department has begun installing new traffic control markings and signage in key corridors to improve the level of comfort and safety for bicycle traffic. Federal guidelines in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), detail a pavement marking symbol called a Shared Lane Use symbol, frequently referred to as a “sharrow”. The pavement marking symbol is often accompanied by a sign that states, “Bicycles May Use Full Lane”. The sharrow signs and markings are only intended for streets that meet very specific criteria, such as narrow streets that do not have enough width to accommodate bike lanes. Additionally, streets where sharrows are installed typically have low vehicular volumes, a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, and frequent bicycle traffic. Sharrows are also commonly used at the entrances to roundabouts, because bike lanes cannot be marked within the roundabout and bicyclists are expected to use the travel lane.
The sharrow signs and markings are intended to advise vehicle drivers to expect the presence of bicycles and encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists. On streets and roads that do not have bike lanes, bicyclists have the right to utilize the travel lane just like motor vehicles, per the Model Traffic Code for Colorado. Therefore, the presence of a sharrow does not change the rules of the road, rather it serves as a reminder that cars and bicycles need to share the road.
The markings have become very common throughout the world, but these will be the first installations within Grand Junction. Locations that will be installed include the entrances to the 7th and Main Street Roundabout, West Main Street beginning at the Riverfront trail connection (at the cul de sac) and continuing to the Main Street Pedestrian Bridge, and a few areas on the Tour of the Moon Byway. Each of these locations are on routes that have been identified as key bicycle corridors and also meet the criteria for locations where sharrows can be used.
The first installations were installed on Tuesday, March 19, along South Broadway. These are within the corridor designated as the Tour of the Moon Byway, a popular route for road bicyclists. Other locations will be installed throughout the coming months.
Please watch for crews as this work is being completed. For additional information on the City’s Strategic Plan, follow this link.
Contact: Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager 970-244-1507 or firstname.lastname@example.org