Monday, August 30, 2021

DDOT clarifies about the "BIKES MAY USE FULL LANE" signs on both sharrows and non-sharrows streets

I asked DDOT's Mike Goodno about the "BIKES MAY USE FULL LANE" signs that we see in Bloomingdale on the sharrows-designated street of R Street NW and up & down 1st Street NW which is not a sharrows-designated street.

See his response below, which I believe provides clarification.

From: Goodno, Mike (DDOT) <>
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2021 3:27 PM
Cc: Handsfield, Will (DDOT) <>; Jeong-Olson, Kelly (DDOT) <>
Subject: bicycles can use full lane sign on both sharrows and non-sharrow streets

I believe the BIKES MAY USE FULL LANE signs were installed by our traffic safety team. A few years ago there were some requests to install bicycle lanes along 1st St NW. This would’ve required removing parking on both sides of the road (I believe). There was a lot of community backlash against that proposal. Our traffic engineers follow the requirements of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). That document provides national consistency in the application of pavement markings and signs. It’s true that we have installed these signs on streets with sharrows, such as R St NW; however, there is no obligation in the MUTCD to include sharrows. And, unfortunately, there is not a unique approved sign to pair with sharrows. 

The section of the MUTCD does, however, give transportation agencies some flexibility on where to place these signs. I believe in this case they were installed because the travel lanes are too narrow for bicyclists and motor vehicles to operate side by side (option 1), and that this is a location where it is important to inform road users that bicyclists might occupy the travel lane. Nonetheless, as Will stated [in a prior Email not supplied here], other than freeways motorists should expect bicyclists on all streets so we tend to be very judicious on where we place these signs. 

Please let me know if you have any further questions. 

Thank you, 

Mike Goodno
Bicycle Program Specialist

Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration
District Department of Transportation
250 M Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

o. 202.671.0681

c. 202.345.2842


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