Via City of Eugene Public Works:
Popular bicycle routes in Eugene are about to get a face lift, or rather, some makeup. Shared Lane Markings (SLMs), sometimes called “sharrows”, are currently being installed (many have actually been installed already) under a contract for walking and bicycling improvements throughout the city. SLMs direct people on bikes to ride in the proper direction on a street and raise the awareness of people in cars of the potential presence of bicycle traffic. When people riding bikes travel directly over the shared lane marking they are in the best position to be seen by other road users and will be positioned outside of the “door zone”, where an opening car door can injure a bicycle rider.
Streets where new shared lane markings will be added include Willamette Street, Alder Street, 12th Avenue, 15th Avenue, Olive Street, and Broadway. Streets with SLMs are not bicycle-only streets. These streets need to be shared by all people using the travel lanes. Good advice for traveling on a street with shared lane markings, is to slow down, behave predictably, and act as if other road users are a family member or someone you know, not an obstacle that is “in the way”. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
A short public service announcement was developed in 2014 to communicate where a person riding a bicycle should position themselves within the travel lane. It communicates that all users, including people who drive and ride bikes, should travel directly over the shared lane marking. The 30-second spot is based on the popular video game “Mario Kart”. Though it should be noted that riding a bicycle over a shared lane marking will not provide a “power up” boost, it will make you more visible and keep you out of the door zone. The video is linked on the city’s traffic safety webpage: www.eugene-or.gov/trafficsafety.