(PLATTSBURGH- Monday July 24th 2023) - As part of the adopted Bike Friendly Plattsburgh Plan, the City of Plattsburgh is excited to announce the installation of new sharrows (shared lane markings) on various streets throughout the city. These sharrows serve as a testament to the city's commitment to promoting safe and sustainable transportation options for all residents and visitors.
What are Sharrows?
Sharrows are road markings that consist of a bicycle symbol with two chevrons, to indicate that the designated travel lane is a shared lane for motorists and cyclists to travel in the same direction, under the same rules, in tandem. Sharrows aren’t bike-lanes and aren’t used as bike lanes. By implementing sharrows, The City of Plattsburgh aims to improve the overall safety and accessibility of roadways for cyclists as well as enhance the awareness and understanding of motorists regarding bicycle presence on the roads - it’s also a reminder that cars and bikes legally coexist using the same infrastructure.
The introduction of sharrows aligns with the city's Bike Friendly Plattsburgh Plan with the goal of creating a more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly community through improving multi-modal transportation infrastructure. Plattsburgh has recognized the growing demand for alternative modes of transportation and acknowledges the numerous benefits that cycling and walking brings to both individuals and the environment. By promoting cycling, the city aims to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, enhance public health, and create a more vibrant and sustainable community.
The City of Plattsburgh urges all road users to familiarize themselves with sharrows and respect the shared space on the roadways. Motorists are reminded to exercise caution when encountering cyclists and give them ample space when passing, while cyclists are encouraged to ride in an equally predictable manner and follow all traffic laws and regulations.
Mayor Chris Rosenquest says, "municipalities across the world are making the appropriate modifications to their multimodal infrastructure plans. Our City is no different. We're seeing more bikes and alternative forms of transportation growing in usage and popularity, we’re ensuring the safe and reliable use of our roadways as well as educating users of our roads of their individual responsibilities.”
The installation of sharrows will primarily focus on key routes throughout the city that are frequently used by cyclists. The streets include Underwood Avenue, Elizabeth Street and the East portion of South Platt Street, LeBlanc Lane, Park Avenue, Park Avenue West, Draper Avenue, Prospect Avenue, north and south portions of Oak Street, North Catherine Street, George Angel Drive and Dock Street. The characteristics of these streets directly align with the Federal Highway Administration, National Association of City Transportation Officials, and New York State Department of Transportation criteria that promote the use of sharrows: The above-mentioned streets are all neighborhood streets within the 30 MPH City speed limit zones and provide connections to other areas of the City. Many have lane widths as narrow as 14’ wide making it infeasible for the implementation of any more sophisticated bike infrastructures like 5’ bike lanes or bike boulevards. The provision of sharrows along these streets is the most low cost, direct step the City can take to encourage connectivity between different neighborhoods, parks, and amenities.
Implementation of Bike Friendly Plattsburgh Plan
In addition to the sharrows, the City of Plattsburgh is actively working to implement remaining components of the Bike Friendly Plattsburgh Plan. Final design plans are in place and anticipated to move forward next year to provide a multi-use trail (bike and pedestrian trail) along both Beekman and Court Streets between Margaret street and Prospect. In partnership with NYSDOT, the City is looking at designing traffic calming and better integrated transportation methods at the Cornelia and Broad Street intersection. This redesign also incorporates ADA compliant sidewalks and biking infrastructure between the Cornelia and Broad St. Intersections and the Town line. This project is scheduled for a 2025 implementation and completion. These designs will aim to smooth the traffic flow, improve safety, and increase connectivity along Broad street while incorporating bike lanes on either side of the street thereby putting it on a “road diet”.
“A lot of the work that we’re doing towards making our streets safer to bike, walk, and drive contributes directly to reducing traffic accidents as well as lowering speed. This is a culture shift for us which is going to take a lot of education for everyone who uses our streets,” adds Mayor Rosenquest. “It’s also important to note that increasing and improving multimodal infrastructure also helps level the socio-economic playing field for those who must rely on biking and walking as their primary methods of transportation.”
Lastly, the City will use a NYS DEC Climate Smart Communities award it won via the consolidated funding process (CFA) to enhance safe routes to school in the Oak Street School neighborhood. A few other elements of the Bike Friendly Plattsburgh Plan remain to be determined (TBD) as the associated streets or corridors need more specialized attention to determine their final implements. For these remaining TBD areas, the City will continue to work with its partners, and seek additional funding to identify and implement the most appropriate solutions.
The City of Plattsburgh invites residents, cyclists, and motorists to explore the newly installed sharrows and take advantage of the enhanced cycling infrastructure. Together, let us build a city where cycling is a safe, enjoyable, and accessible mode of transportation for all.
Sharrow on Oak Street