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[POLL] Sharrows on Forest Avenue

Rye Shared Roadways Committee Chair Steve Cadenhead writes about the coming sharrows project on Forest Avenue.

Rye Shared Roadways Committee Chair Steve Cadenhead sent the following piece to Rye Patch:

Forest Avenue is heavily used for recreational purposes. Residents bike, jog,
walk and push strollers up and down Forest Avenue, and many children also
bike or walk along it to get to school. Because of the narrow roadway and
absence of sidewalks in many sections, this activity is taking place right in the
roadway in the same space that motorists are using. Pedestrians, cyclists
and motorists all are competing for the same space, and the result is
usually unpleasant and potentially life-threatening encounters. In a perfect world there would be dedicated bike lanes and full sidewalks along a corridor as active as this, but the reality is that there is no money available for the required widening of Forest Avenue, and it’s not clear that there’s even the appetite for these types of improvement.

So ? Sharrows are a relatively new, official, standardized
street marking that is used when bike lanes are needed but not feasible. 

Studies have shown that sharrows do indeed succeed in reducing the distance between cyclists and motorists. They succeed in reducing incidences of “dooring” (where a motorist exiting a parked car opens the door into the path of the cyclist, causing a collision). Studies show that motorists also tend to drive
more slowly when sharrows are present.

Sharrows also improve the behavior of cyclists, reducing incidences of their
riding the wrong way on the road, or riding on sidewalks. In other words, they improve safety.

Sharrows are in wide used across the country, including in New York City, and have recently begun to appear in Westchester County. Their benefits include improved roadway safety; increased motorist awareness and expectation of non-motorized traffic on the road even when none is visible; low cost (or in this case no cost, as this project to install them has been completely funded by
the Rye YMCA grant); increased community awareness of the needs of non-motorized users, and stimulation of discussion about biking and pedestrian safety in Rye.

Employing sharrows on Forest Avenue is a quick, easy, low cost step toward easing confusion and improving safety on Forest Avenue. It’s easily reversible should they be deemed a failure.

This improvement doesn’t cost taxpayers or the City anything.
the traffic issues on Forest Avenue, but they’re a step in the right direction. Using them is also an acknowledgement that it’s good, not bad, that people are running, walking and cycling in their neighborhoods.

Our streets are a community asset. They belong to the residents and the
community, and are not for the sole benefit of motorists. Installing sharrows is a step towards balancing the needs of non-motorists and motorists on our streets.
Our streets are a community asset. They belong to the residents and the
community, and are not for the sole benefit of motorists. Installing sharrows is a step towards balancing the needs of non-motorists and motorists on our streets.

AG August 02, 2012 at 10:35 AM
The sharrows ptoject is a wonderful concept and shold be eztended to the section between Grace Church St. and Forest Ave. towards Playland Parkway. Recently many home owners have installed new boulders/rocks and sprinkler systems in the City,s right of way forcing people,pets and bikers to have to walk in the samr space as cars.
NSG August 02, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I agree with AG. I live on that section of Forest Avenue and it is a nightmare to walk or bike. Homeowners have installed sprinkler systems, and blocks to define their driveways past their property lines into the city's right of way. The added rocks to keep pedestrians from walking on the grass and cars from parking, make it a dangerous obstacle course.
Tea Leaves August 02, 2012 at 12:52 PM
So how do the sharrows fix the problem of people/pets being forced onto the street? Might not the sharrows INVITE more folks onto the road. More parents may be inclined to ride with their children on Forest once the road is designed to accommodate bikers, only increasing the volume of people in traffic. Only a wider road or the removal of the impediments would solve the problem you raised AG. At least it will look pretty.
tedc August 02, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Roadways are very dangerous places to run and walk. When the Rye High School track was converted (at great expense) to a synthetic surface from crushed natural cinders that was one of the justifications used to support the expense of the project – a safe place for the Rye taxpayers to exercise.
carolyn soriano August 02, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Why isn't there a law that bikes and pedestrians walk or ride single file?? Many, many times, I need to encroach on the opposite lane to avoid bikers and pedestrians who are riding or walking double or even triple file. Very inconsiderate and dangerous!

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