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The City of Sequim recently installed shared lane arrow markings on the southbound lane of North Blake Avenue. The markings, sometimes called a “sharrow” for shared lane arrow, designate a lane that is shared by vehicles and bicycles. This differs from the more familiar bike lanes symbol which means bikes only. The northbound lane of North Blake Avenue maintains a bikes only lane. Cyclists should only use that lane for northbound travel only. This is the first time the City of Sequim has installed a shared lane arrow marking.
The sharrow markings were used on southbound Blake Avenue because the road is too narrow to allow an exclusive bike lane on both sides of the road and still maintain parking on the southbound side.
Sharrows alert drivers of the potential presence of bicyclists and what portion of the lane they are likely to occupy. Sharrows will appear towards the center of the lane when parallel parking is allowed. When parked cars are not present, the lane will shift closer to the curb, but where the cyclist is still very visible to passing motorists. When bicyclists are present, motorists should slow down and either wait for the cyclist to turn off the roadway or wait until they can pass the cyclist safely.
For bicyclists the sharrow markings represent the proper direction to travel and assist with safe positioning in the lane. Cyclists should travel in the center of the shared lane markers. Where parking is allowed, this will keep the cyclist out of the parked cars door zone, although cyclists should still pay attention to potential door openings. Riding in the center of the lane markers will also make the cyclist more visible to passing motorists.