A “sharrow” on your street? Should you be worried ? Not if you drive a bicycle.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  Sept. 5, 2012— Watch for painted signs along the side of more than two dozen roadways in Burlington.  The city is installing 285 new sharrows throughout the city on streets identified in the city’s Cycling Master Plan as proposed bicycle priority streets.

At $95 a pop – tax included – the city is putting in a couple of dozen of these. They are called sharrows and they tell drivers to share the road with cyclists.

Sharrows are bicycle use road markings that are painted on the road where a complete bike lane barrier cannot be installed.  The markings are meant to attract cyclists who prefer to ride on less busy streets and help increase driver awareness.

“The city’s efforts in improving our cycling infrastructure demonstrate our long-term commitment to promoting and encouraging active transportation in Burlington,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of development and infrastructure.

Burlington received the Bicycle Friendly Community bronze medal award from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition last August. Share the Road is an Ontario-based non-profit organization that promotes bicycling as a mode of transportation, recreation and fitness through provincial advocacy.

Work crews are installing 285 sharrows on the following streets:

•         Millcroft Park Drive from Dundas Street to Walkers Line

•         William O’Connell Boulevard from Millcroft Park Drive to Upper Middle Road

•         Jordan Avenue from Walkers Line to Headon Road

•         Headon Road from Palmer Drive to Headon Forest Drive

•         Forest Run Avenue from Walker’s Line to Bianca Forest Drive

•         Bianca Forest Drive from Forest Run Avenue to Pincay Oaks Lane

•         Headon Forest Drive from Headon Road to Northampton Boulevard

•         Northampton Boulevard from Headon Forest Drive to Dundas Street

•         Duncaster Drive from Upper Middle Road to Cavendish Drive

•         Coventry Way from Cavendish Drive to Guelph Line

•         Tyandaga Park Drive from Brant Street to Kern’s Road

•         Kerns Road from North Service Road to Canterbury Drive

•         Mount Forest Drive from Brant to Fisher Avenue

•         Fisher Avenue from Mountain Forest Drive to Mountainside Drive

•         Mountainside Drive from Fisher Avenue to Guelph Line

•         Mountain Grove Avenue from Mountain Forest Drive to Dead End

•         Martha Street from Centennial Bikeway to Lakeshore Road

•         Pine Street from Brant Street to Martha Street

•         Northshore Road from Belhaven Crescent to LaSalle Park Road

•         Pearl Street from Pine Street to Lakeshore Road

•         Spruce Avenue from Kenwood Avenue to Hampton Heath Road

•         Spruce Avenue from Goodram Drive to Appleby Line

Motorists may experience some delay while pavement markings are put in place.  The work is underway and will be completed this week.

Each sharrow costs $95 to put in place.  The city expects to spend approximately $31,000 this year on sharrows.

$55,000 is budgeted for cycling each year. It is used on minor cycling improvement projects……this includes installation of new bike lanes (grinding of vehicle lane pavement markings and applying new bike lanes)…..curb cuts, sharrows and signage.

Hopefully drivers will see the markings on the roadway and recognize they are expected to share the road they are using with those who choose to cycle.

Once the sharrows are in place we can perhaps see more people using side streets and locations where they can fel safe and be safe.  The REAL challenge for Burlington is coming up with ways to make it safe to use a bicycle on Guelph, Walkers and Appleby Lines.




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