ODOT will now recommend traffic engineers use signs that say “Bikes on Roadway” instead of the old “Share the Road” signs.
The decision came at a recent meeting of the Traffic Control Devices Committee, following a presentation by Alexandra Phillips, Bicycle Recreation Specialist with Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, and Gary Obery of ODOT.
The decision doesn’t mean “Share the Road” signs already installed will be replaced, but that new signs or any in need of replacement for other reasons should be updated to “Bike on Roadway.”
Phillips and Obery reported on the history of two signs and also discussed complaints from bicyclists that “Share the Road” is confusing, and that some interpreted the signs as telling bikes to share the road.
So the questions put before the committee were:
- Should the “On Roaway” plaque be put back into the Sign Policy & Guidelines?
- Should “On Roaway” be preferred over “Share the Road” for new and replacement signs?
Members agreed the current plaque is confusing and the consensus was to revert to “On Roadway” in connection with not just the bicycle icon signs, but all vehicular traffic signs, including trucks and tractors, etc. (as listed in Figure 2C-9 of the online 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD).
Committee member Scott McCanna noted that “On Roadway” doesn’t include the road shoulders under ORS 801.450 and this might be a litigation concern if a bicyclist gets hit on the shoulder. It was clarified this sign is actually meant for situations where bikes are expected in actual travel lanes. It was also clarified this would not affect Sharrow pavement markings since these are supposed to be used only on slower speed streets.
After some discussion, a motion to recommend ODOT state in the Sign Policy & Guidelines the “On Roadway” plaque is preferred over the “Share the Road” plaque was approved.