BROWNSVILLE, Texas (August 7, 2017) – The City of Brownsville announces the installation of Shared Lane Markings (SLMs) or “sharrows” on various city streets throughout the next few months. A sharrow, or Shared Lane Marking – as defined by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) – is a roadway marking that is used to indicate a shared lane environment for bicycles and automobiles.
Brownsville’s sharrow routes were funded through the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) in 2014. TAP funds, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Brownsville Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), are designated for smaller-scale transportation projects, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails and safe routes to school projects.
Adding Shared Lane Markings to applicable roadways has many benefits:
- Encourages bicyclists to position themselves safely in lanes too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to comfortably travel side by side within the same traffic lane;
- Alerts motor vehicle drivers to the potential presence of bicyclists;
- Alerts road users of the lateral position bicyclists are expected to occupy within the travel lane;
- Indicates a proper path for bicyclists through difficult or potentially hazardous situations;
- Advertises the presence of bikeway routes to all users;
- Provides a wayfinding element along bike routes;
- Demonstrated to increase the distance between bicyclists and parked cars, keeping bicyclists out of the “door zone;”
- Encourages safe passing by motorists;
- Requires no additional street space;
- Reduces the incidence of sidewalk riding; and
- Reduces the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.
“Here in Brownsville, we’ve led the way by improving our infrastructure and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Brownsville City Commissioner At-Large “B” Rose M. Gowen. “Sharrows are important for both motorists and cyclists; they indicate direction for cyclists, reduce the usage of sidewalks and ultimately ensure that cyclists are as visible as possible to the motorists they are sharing the road with. Over the next few months, we will see the addition of Shared Lane Markings as we continuously strive to become a more bicycle-friendly community and promote the health and wellness of all our citizens.”
“The Brownsville MPO is extremely pleased to see these safety-related improvements being implemented in Brownsville,” said Brownsville MPO Director Mark Lund. “Sharrows encourage bicyclists to utilize local streets with low speeds and low traffic volumes while increasing safety and visibility for motorists and cyclists alike.”
Brownsville’s sharrow routes, identified as “Near Term Recommendations” within the Connecting Brownsville: The 2013 Bicycle & Trail Master Plan, will be located on the following roadways:
- Lincoln Street (International Blvd. to Avenida Del Oro)
- Avenida De La Plata (Lincoln Street to Avenida De La Plata)
- Cleveland Street (E. 22nd Street to International Blvd.)
- Hortencia Blvd. (Cleveland Street to E. 30th Street)
- E. 30th Street (East Avenue to Southmost Blvd.)
- Coria Street (Marine Drive to Media Luna Road)
- Sunset Drive (Palm Blvd. to Old Alice Road)
- Old Alice Road (Sunset Drive to Alice Circle)
- Jose Marti (Ruben M. Torres Blvd. to San Marcelo Blvd.)
- Hidden Valley Drive (Old Alice Rd. to Fireside Drive)
- Fireside Road (Hidden Valley Drive to Galveston Road)
Click here to learn more about Shared Lane Markings.
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