Adelaide: Sharrows

A few months ago we mentioned how sharrows (“share arrows”) were starting to be trialled in a few cities around New Zealand. While in Adelaide for Velo-City Global recently, I got the chance to have a look at (and ride past) some sharrows that are being trialled there too.

Sharrows: when a car is parked, this is where you ride

Sharrows: when a car is parked, this is where you ride

Sharrows are usually marked to designate cycling routes on low-volume streets. Normal bike lanes wouldn’t make much sense here, but sharrows allow riders to recognise that this is still a bike route. And they have the added advantage of also indicating an appropriate position to pass parked vehicles.

First ingredient needed: a quiet street

First ingredient needed: a quiet street

The sharrow markings also provide a useful visual cue to motorists to (a) expect to see people biking along here, and (b) expect to see them not necessarily hugging the kerb. I suspect that they also provide a slight speed calming effect on traffic.

Part of the Mike Turtur Bikeway south of Adelaide CBD

Part of the Mike Turtur Bikeway south of Adelaide CBD

Adelaide have been trialling these sharrow markings since last September. The routes include the Outer Harbour Greenway to the northwest of the CBD and the Mike Turtur Bikeway to the southwest. The streets where they are being trialled are generally very quiet (although some of them have a bit of parking near shops and train stations), so it felt very comfortable to happily ride pretty much in the middle of the streets where the sharrow markings were.

Sharrows on the Outer Harbour Greenway, northwest of the CBD

Sharrows on the Outer Harbour Greenway, northwest of the CBD

What do you think of these sharrow implementations?

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  • Olly Powell
    17 June 2014, 9:19 am

    I had a bit of a look at the changes a few months ago on a work trip to Adelaide. I quite like the idea really, Expecially because the positioning of the marking right in the middle like that. Most of the streets in the photos are really quiet and fairly narrow. A number of them I believe are also actually in 40km/h zones. They have little need for “lanes” so long as cycling is expected in the middle. I’ve never had much trouble on them when I lived in Adelaide even before the signage, but I’m sure it would only help. The real improvement for these routes is with the crossings at main roads. The car parking on these narrow streets serves as de-facto traffic calming.

    I thought this would possibly be a better approach for part of the Matai St West route, beween the railway and CGHS. This would solve all the issues around pedestrains milling about on the proposed cyle lane and get rid of the complex network of pedestrian crossings etc around the bend near the railway line.

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