For the past several days, motorists who have traveled on the newly-rebuilt Route 35 in Bay Head have been puzzled over symbols painted on the pavement that seemingly mark a bicycle lane in the middle of the road.
The markings, which show a bicycle and arrows pointing in the correct direction of travel, have been the subject of social media curiosity, with some locals declaring that someone must have made a mistake. Indeed, no mistakes were made, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The markings are known as “sharrows,” the DOT said, and are used as a reminder to motorists and bicycles that each are allowed on the roadway and guide bicycle riders along the portion of the roadway that is statistically safest to avoid car doors.
In Bay Head, where drivers are allowed to park on both sides of the highway, there wasn’t enough space available to carve out a formal bike lane, so the sharrows were implemented to improve bicycle safety and also act as a reminder to drivers that bicycles may be present.
The DOT said enough sharrows have been added in Bay Head so drivers turning onto the highway from any side street will be reminded of the presence of bicycles.