On the road we can see lots of vehicles, motorbike, cyclists, and pedestrians walking. There should be a dedicated pathway for each of these users of the road. Since they ‘share’ the road it is needed to have shared path line marking so that each of them is positioned properly on the roadway and moves along their dedicated path.
According to the law, the shared path line marking may be used for different reasons such as:
- To assist the cyclists with their lateral positioning when they share a lane which has parallel parking on the street
- To eliminate the chances of a bicyclist hitting the open door of a parked car
- To assist cyclists to maintain the correct position on roads that are too narrow for them to travel in the same traffic lane side by side with a car
- To alert the motorists about the location of the bicyclists or the likelihood of them occupying the way
- To encourage safe passage by the motorists of the bicyclists and
- To reduce the occurrence of wrong-way bicycling.
Therefore, a shared lane marking is a particular type of street marking. Most of the developed countries have these markings on their roads to ensure safety of the people and to avoid accidents. A shared lane marking is typically designed for the people preferably riding on cycle and it indicates where they actually should drive to avoid being ‘doored’ by a parked car or hit by a speeding car.
Data collection is important
In order to ensure that the shared path line marking is correct and useful, it is required to collect the accurate data of diverse kinds and analyse them precisely before application. The process of data collection involves site selection and description.
Primarily, the shared lane markings are done on roads that lead to a nonmotorised road which is basically used by the pedestrians and cyclists. The marking is typically a white colored centerline which is painted on the road to divide it into two distinct paths namely:
- A pedestrian path and
- Cyclist path.
Each of this path is clearly depicted by the symbols of pedestrian and bicycle. Sometimes, in addition to the shared path line marking there may be a few additional markings such as the traffic signs. These signs are included just to regulate the use of the paths.
In order to ensure better data collection, videos of the sites to be marked may also be collected.
Factors to consider
While collection data from a specified for shared path line marking, there are different factors to be considered.
- Bicycle type – Though this may not have a significant effect on the infrastructure treatments, but the mean lateral position of the cyclists riding an electric bicycle is considered to be much higher overall in comparison to those cyclists who use a conventional bicycle. However, only the lateral position is to be considered and analyzed here and not the speed or swerving of the bicycle.
- Lateral position – This can be different depending on the type and condition of the bicycle. A lot of calculation needs to be made to get an accurate result of the pairwise comparisons. The control conditions and mean lateral position at the edge lie is to be considered specifically.
- Swerving – Also termed as SDLP, this is the measure of the effect on the edge lines. In this aspect the ipsative scores of SDLP are compared with the treatments as per bicycle type. Ideally, cyclists riding an electric bicycle tend to swerve less than those riding a conventional bicycle.
Finally, the average speed of bicycles in each different condition is considered and listed before finally applying the shared path line marking on the road.