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Sign Most Likely to Send Mixed Messages: "Share the Road"
Tanya Snyder shares news of a new study that examines understanding of road signage explaining the rights of cyclists to use the road. "Researchers George Hess and M. Nils Peterson of North Carolina State University conducted an online survey of nearly 2,000 people to find out what various road signage means to them," according to Snyder. "On the screen, respondents were shown pictures of various traffic scenarios and street designs, and asked to interpret different signs and markings in those contexts."
The findings of the study: "Turns out 'Share the Road' had no effect whatsoever in leading people to respect cyclists’ right to occupy a full lane of traffic. A sharrow helped a little. In the survey, by far the clearest indication that cyclists have an equal right to the road was a sign stating unequivocally that cyclists 'may use full lane.'"
Snyder notes that the study confirms a policy change made by Delaware two years ago, when it dumped the "Share the Road" signs for this very reason.