The city of Port Townsend’s completed new striping along Water Street has a design to catch any driver’s attention.
The striping consists of dotted lines, arrows, solid lines, colors and more, a concept causing confusion at first glance. Each set of designs indicates how drivers and bicyclists are supposed to safely share the road. Education on these designs is important. But, what is even more important is just being able to share the road you are using.
A driver should be aware of their surroundings. Driver’s training taught us to always check mirrors and stay focused on the road in front of us.
Bicyclists are taught to obey the rules of the roads, to use hand singles and be visible to drivers.
Although the striping is a new friendly reminder on how to share the roadway, being aware of one’s surroundings is something all drivers and riders should be paying attention to without being told by paint on the pavement.
We are moving into a society that is more environmentally aware than ever before. People are taking extra measures and being more conscious of the things they are using and buying, and the footprints left on our ecosystem.
Transportation is a huge game changer for people becoming environmentally friendly. We are buying energy-efficient cars, walking more, carpooling, riding bikes and just being more green in general.
That same awareness should be applied to all aspects of life.
The newly dashed lines on the side of the bike lanes next to car traffic indicate a shared lane of travel, meaning both bikes and vehicles will be sharing the road. Both drivers and riders should pay extra attention in these spots because that space is shared.
The fact is, roads, in general, are now a shared space, and should be treated as such.
Drivers should not only check their mirrors when the pavement is dashed, as riders should not only use hand signals when in designated bike lanes either.
These practices are ones we should be using at all times to ensure a safe commute where any sort of driver may be going.
Pay attention, stay focused, be friendly and remember to stay aware of your surroundings.