Sharrows Explained

Spokane Public Works posted a nifty explanation of what, exactly, sharrows are and how to use them. I’ve posted it below.

You’ll start seeing new markings on streets across town called sharrows. What are sharrows, you say?

Sharrows are pavement markings installed within travel lanes designed to alert motorists that they are sharing the street with bicyclists and to help bicyclists position themselves in lanes to allow motorists to safely pass them.

These markings have been used successfully in other cities across the country, including Seattle, Bellevue and Portland. In Spokane, the new markings will be unveiled when Southeast Blvd. and 37th Ave. reopen to traffic. Southeast Blvd. reopens next week, with 37th Ave. to follow mid-October, and other streets in the future.

To use a sharrow:


-Use the sharrow to guide where you ride within the lane – generally through the center of the sharrow when safe to do so.

-Remember not to ride too close to parked cars – watch for opening doors.

-Ride in the same direction as traffic.

-Be aware of your surroundings, and follow the rules of the road.


-Expect to see bicyclists in the travel lane.

-Pass to the left of the cyclist, using the adjacent travel lane. Remain behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass.

-Yield to on-coming bicyclists when turning and look right/behind you when making a right-hand turn.

-Be aware of your surroundings, and follow the rules of the road.

For more information on the Master Bike Plan visit

Share this Post

Scroll to Top