Odd Bike Lane Sign on Wyatt Way

The in basket: Doug Hatfield inquired about a sign on West Wyatt Way on Bainbridge Island that reads ““Shared Lane Ends, Yield to Bicycles.”
“It comes down a hill to a sharp corner, even though the bike lane continues around the corner,” he said. “It is a two-lane road, with bike path, plus gravel shoulder. The bike lane continues around the corner, and then it ends. Bikes like to go down that hill full bore, What is the state law on that?”


The in basket: Doug Hatfield inquired about a sign on West Wyatt Way on Bainbridge Island that reads ““Shared Lane Ends, Yield to Bicycles.”
“It comes down a hill to a sharp corner, even though the bike lane continues around the corner,” he said. “It is a two-lane road, with bike path, plus gravel shoulder. The bike lane continues around the corner, and then it ends. Bikes like to go down that hill full bore, What is the state law on that?”
The out basket: Bob Earl, city engineer for Bainbridge Island, says Doug’s inquiry is well taken and the sign will be changed if it hasn’t been already.
“The sign now in place is a modified version of a standard warning sign. The standard version states: ‘Bikeway Narrows’ and, in fact, this is what happens at that location; the bike lane begins narrowing from its designed width to the two-to-three foot width of the shoulder. 
“The existing sign was installed last year during the Wyatt Way Non-Motorized Improvements Project.  The sign modification was made in view of its location at the start of a curve near the bottom of a long hill, to inform both drivers and bicyclists that the traffic lane beyond the end of the bicycle lane is a shared lane.
 “As Mr. Hatfield states, bicycles can reach fairly high speeds as they enter the curve and the ‘yield to bicycles’ direction on the current sign was intended to give cyclists the right of way at that point.  However, Mr. Hatfield’s question caused us to reconsider the current sign and, ultimately, to decide to replace it with a ‘Bikeway Ends’ sign that conforms to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.  The existing sign will be replaced with the standard sign and a ‘Bainbridge Shares The Road’ sign designed by the City’s Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee.”
That sounds like the original sign said the opposite of what it meant, that a shared lane was beginning, not ending. I hope the change clears up any questions.

2 thoughts on “Odd Bike Lane Sign on Wyatt Way

  1. How interesting to read your column regarding the bike lane signs on West Wyatt Way on Bainbridge Island. I’ve driven my bike through that stretch most working days for the last six years.

    I can’t help but take this opportunity to whine. That brand new downhill bike lane is worthless. And it probably cost island taxpayers thousands. What a waste.

    While descending that steep hill, bikes travel as fast as cars. And as Mr. Hatfield says, at the base of the hill, the road takes a sharp bend to the left. The bike lane ends. Cars and bikes are forced to merge. This is a dangerous tight spot created by the introduction of this worthless bike lane. For bike riders and car drivers alike, clearly it’s far safer for bikes to simply use the traffic lane.

    Another reason to ignore the new bike lane: at the base of the hill where the road takes a sharp bend to the left, the paved bike lane is strewn with small rocks – lots of rocks. The bike lane’s been covered with rocks since opening day. No sensible bike rider will risk a painful crash taking a sharp speedy turn over loose rocks.

    And there’s more to come. Wyatt Way east of this steep hill is under construction. Another useless expensive downhill bike lane appears to be in the works. I wonder what the island’s collection of road design einsteins has in store.

  2. I’m interested to know other driver’s opinions and ideas about stopping at STOP signs. Tons of drivers don’t fully stop at stop signs and some drivers barely slow down. I think it’s rare to see a driver who really stops, so what’s the perception of drivers about stopping at stop signs ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: