Share the Road signs sow confusion

Share the Road signs can be found on Hwy 9.

Share the Road signs can be found on Hwy 9.

In 2012 the state of California authorized a new sign to replace the one that apparently causes considerable confusion for motorists — Share the Road. I see them everywhere in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Their intent is to allow cyclists to take up the lane or at least ride to the left of the solid white line. A notion held by many motorists, including some law enforcement, is that cyclists should ride to the RIGHT of the white line. Nothing could be more wrong. Nowhere does it say that in the vehicle code.

One time I was riding with a friend in the town of Sonora on a two-lane road and we were accosted by an off-duty cop for “taking up the lane.”

We were just riding left of a vertical drop with no guard rail. Riding to the right of the white line would have led to certain death. Nevertheless, the cop stopped us and read the riot act. Fortunately a younger on-duty officer arrived and diffused the situation.

The new sign reads “Bikes May Use Full Lane.” Now that removes all ambiguity. The first place to replace the Share the Road signs with the new ones is on steep descents. I can’t imagine a situation where I would take up a full lane on a climb.

Martin Delson writes about the sign situation on the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition website.

P.S. Still no chanterelles. We live in a world out of whack. This is mushroom weather, but chanterelles are finicky fungi. They have their reasons for hiding.

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