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Sharrows soon to make their mark in Solana Beach

SOLANA BEACH — Motorists traveling south along Coast Highway 101 in Solana Beach may soon notice — if they haven’t already — new markings that look like a bike with a roof over it. 

They’re called sharrows and they indicate lanes may be used simultaneously by motorists and bicyclists.

The markings — a bike with two arrows, or chevrons, above it — are painted on roadways where a vehicle lane is too narrow for a dedicated bike lane. They are currently in use in several San Diego communities, including Encinitas, Oceanside and Point Loma.

Sharrows alert drivers that bicyclists may legally use travel lanes. They also help cyclists position themselves away from parked cars to avoid being hit if a motorist suddenly opens a car door.

Drivers should use the left lane whenever possible to pass riders in the sharrow lane.

Even with the soon-to-be-completed Highway 101 improvement project, the southbound lanes of that roadway still aren’t wide enough to accommodate a designated bike lane so the right lane will be painted with sharrows.

The markings were scheduled to be added in early June. At press time they had not yet been installed.


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