Delaware Drops “Share the Road”

Following a push from cyclists around the state, Delaware has agreed to stop using “share the road” signs. Beginning immediately, the DOT will use signs that convey less ambiguous messages confirming cyclists’ right to the streets.

Bike Delaware has been lobbying the state for this policy change since this summer. In August, in a letter to DelDOT’s Chief Traffic Engineer, Bike Delaware’s James Wilson wrote:

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.

Bike Delaware’s post on the topic set off a barrage of Facebook “likes.” In an admirable show of government responsiveness, today Bike Delaware announced that the state DOT has complied with the request:

On Friday, DelDOT’s Chief Traffic Engineer released an official memo to DelDOT staff and contractors:

“…effective immediately, DelDOT is discontinuing the use of the STR ["Share The Road"'] plaque. For projects that have not yet reached the final plan submission, the STR plaque should be deleted from the plans. For projects past the the final plan submission or in construction, the STR plaque does not need to be installed. When bicycle warning signs and STR plaques are being replaced for maintenance purposed…the STR plaque should be omitted…”

It will be interesting to see if Delaware cyclists notice an improvement following the installation of the new signs.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Cincy Map explores the complicated geography of cul-de-sacs. Strong Towns riffs on the superiority of bottom-up “chaotic and smart” innovation, versus the top-down “orderly but dumb” approach. And Streets.mn recounts the history of streetcar development in the Twin Cities from 1880 to 1954.