New bike markings showing up on Wausau streets - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New bike markings showing up on Wausau streets

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Drivers in Wausau are noticing new markings on the roads.

City officials say they're helping make the city friendlier to cyclists.

Lance Fischer of Wausau tries to ride his bike to work everyday.

For him that means traveling on city streets.

He says the new markings make him feel safer when he hits the road.

"It's nice," said Fischer. "It just brings awareness to the drivers that you're out there."

These symbols are called "sharrows."

They remind drivers to share the lane with cyclists.

"We did this to mark where the bikes should be on the street but also to give motorists a heads up of where to expect bicycles on the streets," said Brad Lenz, the Wausau City Planner.

Lenz says the new sharrows can be seen on six main roads in Wausau, including Bridge Street and First Avenue.

Sharrows are used where roads aren't wide enough for a bike lane.

For roads that are wide enough, like Merrill Avenue, workers painted lines for bike lanes.

"Hopefully bikes will be more visible, but also will obey the traffic laws better," said Lenz.

But some drivers say the new markings make them feel uneasy.

"I feel like bike lanes in roads are never a great idea," said Charles Hanson of Wausau. "I think it makes both the drivers and the bikers kind of nervous."

"They are quite large, it's nice to see," said Bernie Vos of Wausau. "It'll just take some time for people to get used to it."

The city planner says a project to add sharrows to more roads is in the works.

"It'd be nice to have them so you can be anywhere and town and get there on your bike and feel safe," said Fischer.

Officials say depending on budget and scheduling, these roads will be marked either this fall or next spring.

The city planner says officials from Wausau and surrounding cities are starting to create new bicycle-pedestrian master plan.

He says it will be a year-long project.

 

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