The City of Ottawa is introducing sharrows on several of our busiest streets. The purpose of a sharrow –road markings showing a bicycle with two chevrons – is to remind residents to share the road when driving or cycling in Ottawa. Sharrow locations will include Lyon Street, Arlington Avenue, St. Patrick Street and Wellington Street.
Benefits of sharrows
For cyclists, sharrows:
- Encourage drivers to leave space for cyclists where lanes are wide enough to share but where there is not enough space for a full reserved bike lane
- Make cycling features (such as approaches to bike pockets) more visible to drivers
- Assist with positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a driver opening their door and hitting a cyclist
- Advise cyclists when to "take the lane" where travel lanes are too narrow for riding side by side within the same lane
- Reduce the incidences of wrong-way cycling.
For drivers, sharrows:
- Alert road users of the space cyclists are likely to occupy in the lane
- Encourage safe passing of cyclists by motorists
- Remind them to share the road with supplemental road signs.
Sharrows do not in any way require a cyclist to take a particular route or obligate where cyclists should position themselves in a lane. Cyclists have the right to ride in any lane and motorists should treat cyclists as they would any other vehicle.
Ottawa's first implementation of sharrows