Beaufort to paint shared-lane markings for cars, bikes on city streets

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Beaufort to paint shared-lane markings for cars, bikes on city streets

By PATRICK DONOHUE
pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com
843-706-8152
Published Thursday, August 11, 2011   |  379 Words  |  

Motorists and bicyclists can coexist on Beaufort's roads, city officials say, and soon its streets will be marked with "sharrows" that drive home the point. White markings depicting a bike and two arrows soon will be painted on Boundary Street and other roads as part of a plan to create pathways linking bike lanes in Beaufort and on Lady's Island, city manager Scott Dadson announced Thursday.

Unlike bike lanes, the symbols do not designate a specific part of the roadway for cyclists, but instead mark the best places to ride and avoid collisions with moving vehicles and parked cars.

The markings also should remind motorists to share the roadway with cyclists, city officials said.

The shared-lane markings were approved for use nationally by the Federal Highway Administration in December 2009, according to the agency.

Dadson said it will cost $30,000 to paint the symbols on the street. Work will begin once the S.C. Department of Transportation approves an easement.

"Our goal is to make it comfortable and safe for people to move throughout Beaufort, whether they're on foot, in a car, on a bike, in a wheelchair, on a bus or riding a horse-drawn carriage," Mayor Billy Keyserling said in a statement. "Roads need to be more than just thoroughfares for cars and trucks."

The shared-lane markings also will be incorporated into future improvements along Boundary Street, city officials said Thursday.

Painting the shared-lane markings onto city roadways is the second project this year aimed at making the city more bike-friendly.

In April, city crews began stalled 10 bike racks near eight popular locations,including City Hall on Boundary Street and at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park as part of a partnership with Pathways Connect, a northern Beaufort County bicycling-advocacy group.

The racks were purchased for $1,500 by Pathways Connect, a northern Beaufort County bicycling-advocacy group, in response what it saw as a lack of parking for bikes downtown.

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