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Super Sharrows: "Feel of a Bike Lane" or Wasted Paint?
"A new set of street markings on Allston’s Brighton Avenue aren’t simply an errant set of dashes installed by city staff with extra paint — they’re part of a national experiment to test innovative bike facilities," writes Martine Powers.
Wanting to boost the bike-friendliness of Brighton Avenue, but without the ability to remove a travel lane or parking, Boston bike czar Nicole Freedman and her staff took inspiration from Peter Furth, civil engineering professor and bike infrastructure expert at Northeastern University, who developed the idea [PDF] for the beefed-up sharrows.
"Some may view the addition of dashed lines to the sides of sharrow icons an underwhelming innovation," notes Powers. "But Freedman said she believes drivers will intuitively see the dashed lines as an indication that they should use the left-hand lane if traffic is free-flowing, leaving a wide berth for cyclists in the right-hand lane it’s not rush hour gridlock."