Local Bicycling Info

Shared Lanes – “Sharrows”

South 3rd Avenue Sharrow

South 3rd Avenue Sharrow

Shared lane markings or “sharrows” are pavement markings carefully placed to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride on the road, avoid car doors and remind drivers to share the road with cyclists. The markings indicate the best place for bicyclist to ride on the road and help motorists expect to see and share the lane with bicyclists.


  • Alerts motor vehicle drivers to the potential presence of bicyclists.
  • Alerts road users of the lateral position bicyclists are expected to occupy within the travel lane.
  • Encourages safe passing by motorists.
  • Reduces the incidence of sidewalk riding.
  • Reduces the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

What Do Sharrows Mean for Motorists and Bicyclists?


  • Expect to see bicyclists on the street
  • Remember to give bicyclists three feet of space when passing
  • Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows


  • Use the sharrow to guide where you ride within the lane
  • Remember not to ride close to parked cars
  • Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows

If I see a sharrow, is that lane only for bikes?

  • No. A sharrow is used for shared lanes, which are used by both bicyclists and motorists.
  • Shared lanes are difference than exclusive bike lanes, which are for bicyclists only and are marked by a solid white lane and different bicycle symbol.


Bike Lanes

Bike lanes designate an exclusive space for bicyclists through the use of pavement markings and signage. The bike lane is located adjacent to motor vehicle travel lanes and flows in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic. Bike lanes are typically on the right side of the street, between the adjacent travel lane and curb, road edge, or parking lane.

Bike lanes enable bicyclists to ride at their preferred speed without interference from prevailing traffic conditions. Bike lanes also facilitate predictable behavior and movements between bicyclists and motorists. Bicyclists may leave the bike lane to pass other bicyclists, make left turns, avoid obstacles or debris, and avoid other conflicts with other users of the street.


  • Increases bicyclist comfort and confidence on busy streets.
  • Creates separation between bicyclists and automobiles.
  • Increases predictability of bicyclist and motorist positioning and interaction.
  • Increases total capacities of streets carrying mixed bicycle and motor vehicle traffic.
  • Visually reminds motorists of bicyclists’ right to the street.

Route Signs

Metro bike routes are marked with custom signs. Each route has a distinct number and color that is keyed to the map. All signs display Marathon County’s “Central Time” logo. As you travel, you will also see the logo for the municipality in which the route is located.


The Central Loop

This 26 mile route includes sections of other routes and features unique metro community bike-ped facilities, including bridges, paved pathways, and bike lanes. The Central Loop arrows will guide you.


Bicycle Wausau