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Does the following sign mean that bikers and motor vehicle owners are sharing the same lane? But I thought it's not a good idea to share a lane. Thank you!

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  • Yellow signs are cautionary only and have no legal significance, so I think your question is off topic. Here, it is just advising you that both cars and bicycles use this road. They must both obey regular traffic laws. Apr 30, 2023 at 21:22
  • Is the design of this sign mandated by law in any jurisdiction? If not then the question is off topic.
    – phoog
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:24
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    @NateEldredge what gives you the idea that cautionary signs have no legal significance?
    – phoog
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:25
  • @phoog: MUTCD 2A.05 distinguishes between "regulatory signs" that give notice of traffic laws and regulations (generally black lettering, white background, rectangular shape), and "warning signs" that "give notice of a situation that might not be readily apparent" (black lettering, yellow background, diamond shape). Of course it is possible that some jurisdiction using MUTCD-style signs has legislated differently, and I can't prove that there isn't, but generally yellow signs warn traffic instead of regulating traffic. Apr 30, 2023 at 21:41
  • @NateEldredge but the warning may nonetheless be legally significant. In any event, warning signs are themselves regulated by law, so the fact that a sign may not communicate a regulation to drivers does not mean that asking about it is off topic here.
    – phoog
    May 1, 2023 at 6:29

1 Answer 1

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You did not state a jurisdiction, but this sign is of the style specified by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which is used throughout the United States, so I will assume a jurisdiction which follows the MUTCD.

The "Share the Road" sign is numbered W16-1P. (The MUTCD version just has the words and not the car/bike symbols; the latter might be a recent update or a local variation.) Its description reads:

In situations where there is a need to warn drivers to watch for other slower forms of transportation traveling along the highway, such as bicycles, golf carts, horse-drawn vehicles, or farm machinery, a SHARE THE ROAD (W16-1P) plaque (see Figure 2C-12) may be used.

So, as is generally the case for yellow warning signs, it does not have any effect on the laws which apply. (It is generally only white regulatory signs that do that.)

Whether or not it is a "good idea" to share a lane, it is legal. Both cars and bikes are entitled to use the road, and if it's a road with only one lane in this direction of travel, then necessarily they must share it. Of course, they wouldn't typically travel side by side indefinitely, but they will be abreast briefly when a car passes a bike. California law, as an example, requires only that the car stay at least three feet away from the bicycle as it passes, when possible.

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    Basically, it is a dopeslap. "Hey dudes...there are other people out here. Don't be an ass, and"Share the road" "
    – WPNSGuy
    May 1, 2023 at 0:27
  • Thank you so much!
    – Maurice
    May 1, 2023 at 6:52

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