There is a new way to share the road in Park City |

There is a new way to share the road in Park City

by Jay Hamburger, THE PARK RECORD

There is a new way to share the road in Park City.

Officials last week created what are known as ‘sharrows’ on two stretches of Park City road. Another section of road will also be made a part of the pilot program.

Sharrows, formally known as shared lane markings, according to City Hall, are basically markings toward the side of a road that indicate to drivers there could be bicyclists riding along the street. They are not bicycle lanes, however. They are used sometimes when there is not enough space on the side of a road for a full bicycle lane.

The sharrows were put on Sidewinder Drive between the intersections with Kearns Boulevard and Comstock Drive as well as on the section of Prospector Avenue between the Bonanza Drive and Sidewinder Drive intersections. Both stretches of road are popular with bicyclists and are heavily traveled by drivers.

Heinrich Deters, the trails and open space program manager at City Hall, said sharrows will be put on Park Avenue between the Empire Avenue and Heber Avenue intersections by late summer.

Officials will review the pilot program over the winter, particularly looking at safety aspects.

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"It tells drivers to expect bikes on the corridor," Deters said.

In a summer 2014 report submitted to Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council, Deters described what officials study when considering creating a sharrow, such as whether there is street parking and the width of a road. The report acknowledges bicycle lanes are "preferred" since lanes provide more space for drivers and bicyclists.

"A Shared Lane Markings policy is a good complement to existing transportation planning documents, as many similar cities have found them to be effective tools. Sharrows are important in executing contiguous bicycle networks, where existing infrastructure does not allow for more traditional practices," the report also says.

The report, meanwhile, outlines the benchmarks that are used as a sharrow is considered. They include speed limits of 25 mph or slower, daily traffic volume of fewer than 3,500 vehicles on average and a road steepness of less than 6 percent.

Information attached to the report addresses the concept of sharrows on Prospetcor Avenue, Sidewinder Drive and Comstock Drive, indicating that sharrows "along these three roads would be preferable to current infrastructure and would complement the current bicycle network."

"Together Sharrows along these roads would connect the Rail Trail, Kearns Boulevard, and Bonanza Drive, providing good bicycle access to the businesses located in this portion of the city," the information also says.

It also addresses the possibility of a sharrow on Main Street. It says a sharrow "would be necessary to avoid potential ‘dooring’ accidents" in which a bicyclist collides with a vehicle door as it is opened. A sharrow along Main Street could connect Deer Valley Drive to the Main Street core, the report says.

City Hall leaders and trails advocates have long wanted Park City roads to be more attractive to bicyclists and others who are not driving, saying that bicycle-friendly routes could reduce traffic and emissions from vehicles. Sometimes known as a share the road campaign, the efforts also address bicyclist safety.