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MOLINE — The city is designating specific roadways as preferred bicycling routes by adding pavement markings called “sharrows.”

The markings feature an image of a bicycle paired with a series of chevrons, according to Scott Hinton, Moline’s city engineer. There will also be signs informing cyclists of the routes.

Work on the $22,000 project began Monday and is expected to be completed within a few weeks.

“It looks like we’re right at 20 miles of new bike lanes that will be identified,” Hinton said.

The markings are more like reminders than mandates, Hinton said. Bicycles and motor vehicles already are allowed to use the city roadways, and the sharrows, being placed on the right-hand side of certain roads in the direction of travel, will not restrict the lane to bicycles.

What the sharrows will do, he said, is notify riders of the city’s preferred routes and warn motorists that they may see more cyclists on certain streets. The routes will run the length of the city from east to west or north to south, and connect to existing trails where possible.

Broadening the use of roadways beyond motor vehicles has been a national trend for the last 10 or 15 years, Hinton said. Moline, however, cannot add many dedicated bicycle lanes adjacent to its roadways because the city’s layout has little extra space for them.

“Unfortunately we can’t do that, so we have to accommodate bicycles another way,” Hinton said.

A map provided by Hinton showed certain areas where Moline was or will be able to add bike-only lanes, but there are only a few. The rest of the routes will be marked by sharrows.

The routes were selected because they were wide enough for sharing and for their access across town, Hinton said. They were also chosen with destinations like the Moline Public Library in mind. One of the north-south routes runs along 41st Street, passing the library.

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Reporter

Anthony is a reporter for Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.com.

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