Press release submitted by Jennifer Walker|
The City of Rock Island is currently installing sharrows on city streets, indicating that the marked areas are appropriate for bicyclists and vehicles. Sharrows are a pavement marking designed to help increase motorists' attention to sharing the roadway with bicyclists. This approach is generally used where street widths cannot accommodate bike lanes. Rock Island is the first Quad Cities community to install sharrows on city streets, and is doing so as part of the City's Bikeways Plan.
In areas where there is no on-street parking, the sharrows are being installed 4 feet from the curb. Where on-street parking is permitted, the sharrows are being installed 11 feet from the curb to allow for parked cars.
Ed Barsotti, Executive Director of League of Illinois Bicyclists explains, "Sharrows let motorists know that they may see bicyclists more often on a particular road. Sharrows also tell cyclists where best to position themselves on the road. Sharrow markings are on the right side of the road, since wrong-way riding, against the flow of traffic, is both illegal and unsafe. Bicyclists on the right side are better seen at intersections, which is critical for bike safety. Sharrows are placed a few feet from parked cars, to prevent car doors from opening into the path of a bicyclist. If there's no parking, sharrows are a few feet from the road edge, since riding on the edge encourages cars to unsafely 'squeeze by' in the same lane, with less than the legal minimum three feet of passing clearance."
Bikeway improvements are being installed in these locations:
• 20th Street: 1st to 7th Avenue
A 10 foot wide off-street bike/pedestrian path will be constructed along the east side of 20th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Sharrows will be installed along both sides of 20th Street between 2nd and 7th Avenues. The project will connect the existing 7th Avenue bike lanes to the Great River Trail via its 20th Street entrance and provides a connection to the downtown area.
• 17th/20th Streets: 7th to 31st Avenue
Sharrows will be installed along both sides of 20th Street, from 7th to 18th Avenues, and 17th Street from 18th to 31st Avenues. This project will provide a major north/south bike route through the city connecting the downtown area with various residential areas.
• 31st Avenue: Sunset Park to 38th Street
Sharrows will be installed along both sides of 31st Avenue from Sunset Park to 38th Street. This project will provide a major east/west bike route through the city connecting residential areas with existing/proposed bike ways and the Great River Trail at Sunset Park.
• 38th Street: 31st to 45th Avenue,
45th Avenue: 38th to 44th Street
44th Street: 45th Avenue to Ben Williamson Park
Sharrows will be installed along both sides of the following corridors: 38th Street from 31st to 45th Avenue, 45th Avenue from 38th to 44th Street, and 44th Street from 45th Avenue to Ben Williamson Park. This project will provide a major bike route through the city connecting residential areas with new Ben Williamson Connector Bike Path.
Questions can be directed to Public Works at (309) 732-2200.
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