Despite its ubiquity and apparent iconic status, it turned out that “Share The Road” is actually an example of common ground between traffic engineers and cycling advocates. We both hated it and for the same reason: its unresolvable ambiguity.
For traffic engineers, with our many years of experience with traffic control devices, “Share The Road” is yet another example of “feel good” signage that placates an interest group but has no safety benefit and adds useless and distracting clutter to the visual landscape.
For cyclists in Delaware (and elsewhere), “Share The Road” had long been interpreted as a sign primarily directed at motorists. Cyclists thought it meant something like “Motorists: be cool.” But for many motorists, “Share The Road” is often interpreted as a sign primarily directed at cyclists and meant something more like “Bicyclists: don’t slow me down.” But we finally realized (after years of pointless yelling back and forth between cyclists and motorists, both yelling “Share The Road” at each other!), that “Share The Road” not only doesn’t help, it actually contributes to conflict and confusion.
I tend to agree with this line of thinking. Would be interesting to see what the Amy Gillet foundation thinks.
I was interested in an advert I saw in the Upper Hutt Leader online a few weeks ago. Promoted by the Upper Hutt City Council and SAFE Hutt Valley. Their campaign is entitled "See the person, Share the road". I particularly like their safety tips. They might seem obvious to us cyclists but they are not foremost in drivers minds. On a side note, the Upper Hutt Council (Wellington NZ) is very proactive in promoting cycling events over the summer.
It is only countries that are in their infancy understanding and respecting cycling of mode of transportation that think that signs, paint, mottos, sharrows, campaigns, etc. are going to make the roads safer.
The early 'share the road' campaigns did not explain how to share the road. Uninformed people could have mistakenly thought they were driving safely near cyclists. I attended a presentation by someone involved in producing govt campaigns, and they agreed with me.
Many Adelaide motorists have trouble sharing the road with other motorists let alone cyclists
you nearly owed me a new laptop I nearly spat my drink over it laughing at that comment :)
So true :)