New Road Symbols Remind People to Share the Road

New Road Symbols Remind People to Share the Road

Driving down State Street in Montpelier you may have noticed new markings on the road.

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Driving down State Street in Montpelier you may have noticed new markings on the road.

“When I saw it I didn't really know what it was, it looks like it might be a bicycle? With some arrows?,” said Lynn Bingham who lives in Montpelier.

It is a bicycle with arrows – but what does it mean?

“They're called Sharrows, a combination of share and arrows,” said Officer Michael Philbrick with the Montpelier Police Department.

Philbrick says the purpose of the new paint job is to remind motorists and bicyclists to share the road.

“I don't know if it exactly says that, or if I would even look,” said Mary Gruen, who bikes around Montpelier.

Philbrick says the new markings were installed in the last few weeks and it's in an effort to make Montpelier more 'bicycle friendly'.  They were installed on roadways like State Street where there is a lot of traffic but no shoulder or bike lane.

“Being aware of bikes in the roadway around you, you know you are making a turn; you're going to turn into a driveway. and it goes both ways, cyclists also have to be aware, oh there's a car in front of me they are signaling to turn I shouldn’t shoot by them on the right,” said Philbrick.

Philbrick says it's important that everyone on the road pay attention to their surroundings. But those who are most vulnerable should take extra precaution he encourages bikers to wear bright clothing and install lights on both the front and back of the bike.

“It's in their best interest to abide by the law and be where people expect them to be. Ride on the right side of the road, follow the traffic laws and signals,” said Philbrick.
 
But he says the best way to stay safe is to slow down and give pedestrians and cyclists extra room while sharing the road.

Montpelier's City Manager says these new markings are just one small part of a larger effort to create a more bicycle friendly city. He says the city is also working to extend two area bike paths. And the city council has dedicated a portion of the parking revenues to help develop more bike and pedestrian opportunities in the city.

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