Sharrows – The New Bike Routes

Alameda County Public Works Agency recently put out the press release below to help the public understand the purpose and use of the “sharrow” markings that you see on Redwood Road. Sharrows remind drivers to drive carefully and allow people riding bikes to share the road – particularly important in Castro Valley where most streets are too narrow to fit driving lanes and bike lanes. You will see more sharrows in our community over the coming months to help improve safety for people riding bikes. This press release will appear in “The Forum” either this week or next.


ALAMEDA COUNTY – The Alameda County Public Works Agency is installing new pavement markings on Class III Bike Routes on roadways throughout unincorporated Alameda County.   These new pavement markings, called Shared Lane Markings or “Sharrows”, indicate that a roadway is a shared bike route.  These new pavement markings include a bicycle symbol and two white chevrons. Sharrows are painted on roadways as a reminder to motorists that bikes may be present on the road, and are legally allowed to take the full lane.

Sharrows Press Release
Sharrows on Via Alamitos in San Lorenzo

In addition to offering motorists a visual reminder that bicycles exist and may be present in traffic, sharrows offer an ‘ideal line’ for people riding bikes to position themselves in the shared lane.  This positioning reduces the chance of a bicyclist hitting an open door of a parked vehicle and the uncertainty of a bicyclist weaving in and out of parked cars.  This positioning also reduces the chance of unsafe passing when there is not enough room for both a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane.  Finally, sharrows discourage wrong way bicycling (riding against the flow of vehicular traffic) and riding on sidewalks.

For additional information about this project, please contact Paul Keener, Senior Transportation Planner, at (510) 670-6452.


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