• End “Share The Road”

    by  • August 19, 2013 • Traffic Control

    UPDATE (August 29, 2015): Researchers confirm that “Share The Road” Doesn’t Work:


    UPDATE (January 19, 2014): Bike Delaware is one of 10 finalists for the Bicycling Magazine People’s Choice Award:


    UPDATE (November 4, 2013): DelDOT announced it will discontinue all use of “Share The Road” plaque:


    Bike Delaware has asked the Delaware Department of Transportation to discontinue its use of the “Share The Road” sign. Here’s why.

    If you have any comments of your own on the “Share The Road” sign, either positive or negative, please make them in the comments section below. After a week, Bike Delaware will collect any and all comments and forward them to DelDOT.

    Comments are closed. All comments below were forwarded to the Chief Traffic Engineer of  DelDOT and his staff.


    TO: Chief Traffic Engineer, Delaware Department of Transportation
    FROM: James Wilson, Executive Director, Bike Delaware

    Thank you for the invitation to comment on the use of the “Share The Road” plaque (W16-1P) in Delaware.

    As a traffic control device, motorists and cyclists interpret W16-1P in different, and sometimes diametrically opposed, ways. Many motorists see it as an admonition to cyclists not to ride in the center of a travel lane. Many cyclists see it as a message to motorists that, if they are riding in the center of a travel lane for one reason or another, that faster-moving motorists should cautiously and patiently maneuver around them.

    As a marketing campaign, the phrase’s ambiguity also invites conflicting interpretations. Many motorists believe that “sharing” means giving up part of something they believe is rightfully theirs while cyclists tend to think of sharing as referring to a commonly owned asset that belongs to them just as much as it does to motorists. This confusion causes motorists and cyclists to trade pointless and time-wasting accusations back and forth.

    We urge the Department to use, where appropriate, both the W11-1 and R4-11 signs. The former is a simple bicycle silhouette that conveys a simple, understandable, useful and important message to motorists of the need to be aware of the possible presence of cyclists at a specific location. The latter is the “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” sign which can and should be used in conjunction with the “sharrow” pavement marking. But we strongly urge the Department to completely discontinue the use of the W16-1P plaque, which serves no traffic control function and whose “marketing” message is counter-productive.

    James Wilson
    Executive Director
    Bike Delaware

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    Note: If you have comments, either positive or negative, on the “Share The Road” sign, please make them in the comments section below. After a week, Bike Delaware will collect and forward them to DelDOT Traffic. (Comments are closed. All comments below were forwarded to DelDOT Traffic.)

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