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What do the bike markings mean on Columbia streets?
Shared Lane Marking: A “sharrow” is a pavement marking of a bike stencil with two arrows above it. These are painted on streets that are good for bike traffic, but are too narrow for separate bike lanes. The sharrow indicates the safe spot where a bicyclist should position himself, and lets motorists know that this part of the street is shared with bicyclists. Sharrows are also used in locations where a bike lane ends and bicyclists must merge with other traffic.
Bike Lane Marking: A bike lane is a portion of the roadway that has been designated by striping and pavement markings for use by bicyclists. Bike lanes give bicyclists and motorists their own, assigned and separate spaces on the road. Bike lane markings include a solid line and a stencil of a person on a bike with an arrow above to indicate the proper direction for travel. Bicyclists should always ride in the direction indicated by the arrow painted on the street.
These street markings are part of an ongoing effort to help motorists and bicyclists share the road safely. To name a few, Fifth Street, Old Highway 63 and Chapel Hill Road are all marked.