Bike safety markings in place in Waynesville
In a first for Waynesville, the Town of Waynesville began installing bicycle street markings along Commerce and Richland Streets on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The markings represent further implementation of the Comprehensive Haywood County Bicycle Plan and will serve to guide motorists and cyclists alike as they “share the road."
Richland Street and Commerce Street are part of what is referred to as the Haywood Hub or the backbone of the east-west cycling route through Waynesville.
The markings are of two kinds. The first, a bicycle detector pavement marking, will be seen at intersections with traffic signals and appears as a bicycle with a straight line at the top and bottom of the bicycle. This marking indicates to cyclists the most sensitive or “sweet” spot to stop their bike in order to trip the traffic light to green.
The second type of marking to be seen is known as a Sharrow (Shared Arrow) and indicates multiple concepts. First, it tells motorists and cyclists that they are on a shared road. This is a reminder that cyclists have full access to the lane of travel.
Secondly, the position and direction of travel of the cyclists are indicated by the direction of the arrow. This should serve to remind and educate cyclists that they should ride with the flow and not against the flow of traffic. Pedestrians walk facing traffic; cyclists ride in the direction of the traffic.
Cyclists, who ride facing the traffic (salmoning) are at significantly increased risk of being hit by motorists either due to the difficulty of anticipating the speed of the cyclists or, more commonly, being hit by cars as they enter and exit driveways and parking lots as the cyclists are travelling in a direction that the motorists do not anticipate.
Sharrows are placed on relatively low speed, normally medium to high traffic count roads and serve to help calm traffic and reduce overall speeds. The placement of the Sharrow should indicate to a cyclist the general safe zone in which to ride. Along roads that do not have on-road parking, the Sharrow is placed at 4’ from the gutter pan. On roads with on-road parking, the Sharrow is placed at 11’ from the gutter pan so as to encourage the cyclist to ride outside of the door zone of parked cars.