By Kurt Holzer, Bike Law
In every car versus bike collision, it is the same loser every time: the bicyclist.
In a well-meaning effort to reduce such collisions, a number of states have adopted a “Share the Road” campaign. Since 1997 the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (the ‘MUTCD”) has approved the use of the Share the Road sign in conjunction with the bicycle symbol. The MUTCD is the road signage “bible” used by road authorities across the country. The intention is all good but I hate that slogan.
I HATE THE SHARE THE ROAD SIGN
Why? Because it is so open to interpretation. Many motorists take it to mean bikes and cars can be side by side in the same lane or that bikes should share the road in the sense of getting the heck out of the way of the car. That is bikes should never “take the lane.”
The signage is basically intended to alert motorists that they should expect bicyclists on that road. It really implies that somehow motorists “own” the road or lane and have a choice to not share to other road users.
BICYCLES MAY USE FULL LANE
I think the new effort to get signs that read “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” or “3-feet to pass” signage is far better and more useful.
[B' Spokes: I'll note there is a section titled "10 WAYS BICYCLIST CAN SHARE THE ROAD..." that is completely bogus IMHO, like cyclists are the main offender in not sharing the road. If anything cyclist are too giving to motorists. If you are one of the few that is not, well then maybe those 10 ways can help you but for most they are not all that helpful.]