What's a SHARROW?

Sharrows (= share + arrow) are pavement markings first developed in Denver, Colorado to indicate where bicyclists may use the full lane as illustrated in this photo. The sharrows seek to increase safety by reminding motorists to expect that there may be bikes in the traffic lane and to watch for them. They also remind cyclists always to ride WITH the traffic flow rather than against it. Sharrows are now in use across the nation in areas where the road is too narrow to permit the addition of a dedicated bike lane.

PennDOT offered to install them on the Main Street in Annville Township as part of the summer's milling and repaving project on the condition that the Township maintain them in the future. The Board of Commissioners accepted the offer with the encouragement of the Lebanon Valley Bike Coalition.

The Pennsylvania Driver's Manual states the following regarding bicycles in the roadway:

1. Before passing, you must first decide whether you can maneuver around the bicyclist. Be sure to check for oncoming traffic. When passing, you must allow at least four (4) feet between your vehicle and a bicycle in order to pass safely. If necessary and if you can do it safely, you are permitted to cross the center double yellow line so you can maintain the four (4) feet of clearance between your vehicle and the bicycle.

2. Unless making a left turn, bicyclists traveling more slowly than passing vehicles must keep to the right side of the roadway and must travel in the same direction as the rest of traffic. However, this requirement is waived on roads with a single lane in each direction.

3. When there is only one travel lane, bicyclists may use any portion of the lane to avoid hazards on the roadway, including keeping a safe distance from stopped and parked cars.

4. Drivers cannot turn into the path of a bicyclist who is riding straight ahead on a roadway or shoulder.

5. You cannot force a bicyclist off the road. If you do this, you may face criminal charges.

6. Bicyclists are considered to be vehicle operators and are expected to obey all traffic laws; however, they may travel at less than the posted minimum speed and may not be cited for impeding traffic. Bicyclists may operate on a shoulder or berm, but are not required to do so.

For more information, the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual (PUB 380) can be found at: