For many years, a cycling friend has told me that the Share the Road signage, whether it be stickers Bicycle Indiana distributed, messaging, or even the road signage used in Indiana and many other states, sends the wrong message. It seems a recent study may finally validate his opinion.
If in fact, according to Indiana Code 9-21-11-2, a person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all the rights and duties under this article that are applicable to a person who drives a vehicle, why is the messaging, including Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) approved signage, “Share The Road”? To whom is that message directed?
Both, yes? But if so, do motorists even notice it; do cyclists obey it?
A study by North Carolina State University has just been released that raises concern for Share The Road vernacular. “No statistically significant difference in responses between those who saw ‘Share the Road’ signage and those who saw no signage” whatsoever in terms of their comprehension that cyclists are permitted in the center of the travel lane; that cyclists do not have to move right to allow motorists to pass within the same lane; or that motorists should wait for a break in traffic before passing in the adjacent lane.
In 2013 the US state of Delaware discontinued use of the Share the Road plaque.
Sentiment is that the road sign “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” better serves all and provide better comprehension of expectations and behavior.
What do you think?
–Nancy Tibbett, executive director, Bicycle Indiana