Flow have led the development of the new ‘sharrow’ bicycle markings for Auckland Transport. These innovative road markings were originally proposed by Flow in 2011 for application in the Dominion Road parallel cycle network project. Following this, there was national support for these markings to be further investigated and in conjunction with Auckland Transport, NZTA and the Roads and Markings Working Group, and in a New Zealand first, the sharrow markings have been approved for a twelve month trial at five locations around Auckland.
Similar road markings have already proved popular internationally, and are designed to:
- Reduce the occurrence of cyclist ‘doorings’, by guiding cyclists to ride clear of parked vehicles
- Advise cyclists when to ‘take the lane’ where traffic lanes are too narrow for a cyclist and car to travel side by side
- Provide visual cues to motorists, reminding them of the presence of cyclists and the need to share the road
- Encourage safe and considered passing of cyclists by motorists
- Increase the conspicuity of cyclists
Flow have continued the innovation by developing a unique video survey method, to assess the effects of the new sharrow markings on both cyclist and driver behaviour.
The first trial in New Zealand was recently the subject of an article in the New Zealand Herald. Read about it here. The sharrow markings are being installed at the five initial locations, with further investigations into the effects of the sharrows on driver and cyclist behaviour likely to be undertaken in March 2014.