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Showing the way to sharing the road

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry A “sharrow” or share-the-road arrow on Pennsylvania Avenue East in Warren lets motorists know that they are to be aware of bicyclists and give them some space. They are not indicators of a protected bicycle-only lane.

Motorists on Pennsylvania Avenue East may have noticed some new road markings.

Sharrows were part of the PennDOT project on the road last year.

Sharrows are share-the-road arrows. The symbol includes two directional arrows and an image of a bicycle.

They are painted on Pennsylvania Avenue from the Glade Bridge to East Street.

There is no need to avoid driving on the sharrows. They are reminders.

“It’s a decal showing where bikes can share the road with cars,” Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said. “They do not indicate a dedicated bike lane.”

“The sharrows change nothing (legally),” Police Chief Joe Sproveri said. “It’s only a reminder to motorists to share the lane with bicycles. A vehicle needs to give a bicycle 4 feet. If that’s not practical due to oncoming traffic, wait for traffic to clear.”

Callers have asked city officials about the locations of the sharrows — some are near the edge of the road, others are near the middle of the travel lane.

“The eastbound lane has no parking,” Sproveri said. On that lane, the sharrows are next to the curb.

Parking is allowed in some areas along the westbound lane, so the sharrows are moved out to keep them out from under parked vehicles

Because Pennsylvania Avenue is part of Pennsylvania Bicycle Route Y, the sharrows were part of the project. “Part of the concept is to bring people into town,” Holtz said.

Sharrows will show up on the city’s west end next. They are part of PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Avenue West project.

The city maintains the five blocks in the center of town. If sharrows show up there, it will because the city put them there.

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