Do You Know what That New Painted Bicycle Sharrow Symbols on the Roads Mean?

Do you know what this new symbol painted on Rainbow Dr. between Stelling Rd. and Bubb Rd. means? I asked my wife and she guessed that it meant for cars to watch out for bicycle riding to the right next to the curb.  This segment of street is too narrow for a painted bike lane yet is designated by the city of Cupertion to be a formal bicycle route.

This sharrow symbol with a bicycle symbol underneath mean that bicycles share the same road space (center of the road) as bicycles.  If a car come up behind a bicycle they must follow at a safe distance behind the bicycle.  In other word bicycles sharrow (share) the same road space as cars.  I think my wife is not alone in not knowing what this symbol means.  I’m willing to bet that at least 80% of drivers in our city do not know for sure what the symbol means.  The problem is that many people may have many interpretations of what this symbol means.  This ambiguity could cause a more dangerous condition than in the past.

The city needs to make it clear what driving symbols mean to remove any ambiguity in interpretations.

About Frank Geefay

Sustainable Bicycle and Smart Growth Advocate
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2 Responses to Do You Know what That New Painted Bicycle Sharrow Symbols on the Roads Mean?

  1. I found this site by searching “painted bike with double arrow meaning” LOL. Biking around Venice, California, and seeing these designations, I wanted to know exactly what it means. I thought it peculiar, because of the way they are positioned which is far from the curb and almost in the middle of the street, that the motorist might be alerted subconsciously, that there are cyclists in the vicinity, who might be in lanes of traffic. For myself as the cyclist, however, I ride so as to allow the vehicles to pass, but not so close to the parked cars, which might harbor the errant door-opener. Thanks, Frank, for the article.


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