OKC Streets More Biker-Friendly With New Sharrow Bike Lanes

Tuesday, October 30th 2012, 5:28 pm
By: News 9

The streets in Oklahoma City will soon become more biker friendly. Installation is underway for the first of more than 200 miles of bike routes, including shared lanes or "sharrow" bike lanes.

The word sharrow is a combination of the words "share" and "arrow." The sharrows are pavement markings which, along with new signage marking the routes, remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists. These lanes are different from bike lanes because they do not allocate space just for the cyclist. However, signs saying "bicycle may use full lane" will be posted along routes.

The City's bike routes are being implemented in phases. Major streets included in the first phase include Eastern Avenue, S. Villa Avenue and the I-235 and I-35 service roads north of 63rd Street. Downtown streets are also in the first phase.

"Sharrows are being installed on streets like Hefner Road and NW 19th Street that are popular with bicyclists, but are too narrow for conventional bike lanes," said transportation planner Randall Entz. "When they are installed downtown as a part of Project 180 renovations, they will also help to keep cyclist out of the door swing zones of parked cars."

The first phase of the project, which is funded through the 2007 GO Bond and ODOT Enhancement Funds, is expected to cost $362,000 to install.

The city says although it is designating bike routes and sharrow lanes, cyclists can still ride on any Oklahoma City street.