US city introduces experimental ‘sharrows’

Austin bids to boost cyclist and motorist harmony

The city of Austin, Texas has installed experimental ‘sharrows’ in an attempt to create more harmony between motorists and cyclists in the city, said a Kvue report.

The experiment comes while the UK debates how cyclists, motorists and pedestrians are interacting on roads (and pavements). The CTC is seeking to dispel the myths of the danger cyclists pose to pedestrians, as is the London Cycle Campaign, following stories from some quarters of the press on the recent report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

Austin Public Works Department installed 13 3×2 ft ‘sharrow’ symbols of a man on a bicycle in traffic lanes. How the sharrows are expected to work is unclear however, with the emphasis on leaving drivers and cyclists to determine how they work, presumably while also raising awareness of how they interact with each other on the road.

CCTV will be used to collect information on how the sharrows are working, which are part of a $97,000 programme for improving cycle safety in the next six months in Austin.

First used in San Francisco, the sharrows will be seen in six US cities taking part in the experiment. 70 sharrows will be installed in Austin by the end of the week.

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