OKC more bike friendly with ‘sharrow lanes’

Biker1

OKLAHOMA CITY — The first of more than 200 miles of bike routes, including shared lanes or “sharrow” bike lanes, are being installed in Oklahoma City.

The sharrows are pavement markings which, along with new signage marking the routes, remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists and convey that the street is a preferred bike route. They are different from bike lanes because they do not allocate space just for the cyclist.

Signs saying “bicycle may use full lane” will be posted along routes.

The word sharrow is a combination of the words “share” and “arrow.” The marking consists of a bicycle symbol with two arrows above.

The City’s bike routes are being implemented in phases. Major streets included in the first phase include Eastern Avenue, S. Villa Avenue and the I-235 and I-35 service roads north of 63rd Street. Downtown streets are also in the first phase.

“Sharrows are being installed on streets like Hefner Road and NW 19th Street that are popular with bicyclists, but are too narrow for conventional bike lanes,” said transportation planner Randall Entz. “When they are installed downtown as a part of Project 180 renovations, they will also help to keep cyclist out of the door swing zones of parked cars.”

The first phase of the project, which is funded through the 2007 GO Bond and ODOT Enhancement Funds, is expected to cost $362,000 to install.

“Although we are designating bike routes and sharrow lanes, cyclists can still ride on any Oklahoma City street,” Entz added.