Share The Road Signs Don’t Work

Share the road signs are interpreted wrongly by both motorists and cyclists, making cycling even more dangerous than it already is:

Though the signs were designed to affirm cyclists’ rights to the road, they were widely misinterpreted — by both motorists and cyclists — as an exhortation to cyclists to stop “hogging” the road, or as a recommendation that drivers and cyclists share a lane (leading to tight squeezes and close passes).

In a survey that tested various signs and road situations, only a “may use full lane” sign with a pictogram of a bicycle is effective at communicating the law:

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.”

I hope that we get rid of those damn signs in Winnipeg, soon. I’ve always felt less safe when cycling next to one. Delaware already did so two years ago, I’d be interested to know if they’ve seen a reduction in cyclists being hit by cars.


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