Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Media PA might be getting "Sharrows" and what you need to know about them.

In lieu of dedicated bike lanes that sometimes require one side of the street to be car free (yes, that can reduce parking for the street by half), there’s something else called a sharrow that may actually be recommended by Media to improve biking.  I was able to drop by the borough’s Public Safety meeting this week to catch a presentation on the subject.   Essentially, it consists of a designated lane marked by graphics indicating a street that's shared by bikes.  I’ve included a video below that explains the concept and how it works in real world situations.

There are many pros and cons about sharrows, but for Media’s application, they are proposing to spend about $20,000 for the first phase (2nd Phase would be Traffic signals at ~$20,000).  

This would mostly, if not entirely, include applying directional graphics to designated “biking" lanes throughout the borough.  The sharrows would most likely be placed to the 'right of the center' of the road. 

That being the case, these would be awfully close in proximity to vehicles currently parked on the street.  In addition,  some may still find it more beneficial to negotiate vehicle traffic in order to use the the whole width of the street, which may allow for better sight, awareness and reaction.  

Again, the recommendation is still being finalized, but this seems to be an expensive outlay for biking.  In fact one parent at the meeting last night stated he doesn’t let his kids bike in the street over safety concerns that include speeding and roll-through stop signs.  Perhaps that's what needs to be addressed first.


  1. First, this seems like someone has found a solution and now they are trying to pair it with a problem. As you point out, the speeding and rolling stops are a bigger issue that need to be resolved.

    Second, if they are paying 20k for someone to paint arrows in the road, sign me up, I will do it for half!

  2. If drivers did not just assume that bikes never have the right of way, and followed the traffic laws as already written, all roads would be bike friendly. (Says the cyclist who was hit by a car...twice)

  3. Totally see this working seamlessly on State street ...right?

  4. Seriously? The borough needs to find other ways to spend (save?) money. This is ridic.

  5. There are many roads, which were designed with the assumption that bikes would not be there. There is simply no safe way to share some of these narrow, windy roads. Cyclists, like motorcyclists have to be aware that their mode of transport carries additional risk, and they need to be responsible for managing that risk, or accept the consequences if they don't.

    Sure, "share the road" whenever possible, but getting stuck behind a slow-moving bike on Crum Creek, or similar roads should never happen. I'd LOVE to see dedicated biking lanes wherever they can be made safely, but let's also get some of the unsafe roads also posted "motor vehicles only" like the interstate system.

  6. I don't see the room on Media Borough roads for a designated space. Sharing the road is necessary, but there is no available space for separate anything. I agree the rolling stop has gotten out of hand.