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Getting Around Rockville Safely with New Shared Roadway

The city is using signage and arrow-like “sharrow” pavement markings to increase safety on shared roadways in Rockville as part of fulfilling the city’s Bikeway Master Plan and Vision Zero goals.

The Bikeway Master Plan, approved by the Mayor and Council in 2017, envisions a multimodal Rockville where people can bicycle safely for recreation and transportation.

The city has already installed shared roadway signage on more than 50% of the Bikeway Master Plan-designated shared roadways. It is expected that the remainder will be completed this year.

One component of the plan lays out nearly 14 miles of shared roadways across 33 different city streets. The plan also supports the city’s efforts to complete Vision Zero, a transportation safety action plan to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and serious injuries.

A shared roadway has a sign or a pavement marking that informs people driving and riding bicycles that they should be mindful of each other, and that in some instances they may need to travel single file.

Shared roadways are generally characterized as roads that have low speed limits and low traffic volumes but may not be appropriate, or have the space, for a full bicycle lane. According to state law, bicyclists may use any road, regardless of a shared roadway designation, unless explicitly prohibited, such as on a freeway.

Tips for Sharing the Road
If you find yourself on a shared roadway, be sure to look out for people bicycling and driving and make sure that there’s at least 3 feet of space between you when passing. If there isn’t enough space, be patient. Most shared roadways are less than a half-mile long. There’ll be a passing opportunity soon enough. Riding and driving safely on shared roadways is important to eliminating transportation-related deaths and serious injuries, and helping the city achieve Vision Zero.

For questions about shared roadways and driving or bicycling in mixed traffic, contact pedestrian and bicycle coordination Bryan Barnett-Woods at bbwoods@rockvillemd.gov.

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