Sharrow

Sharrows

Sharrows, stop boxes and hook turns are three kinds of road markings/tools which people on bikes can use to stay safe on our city’s roads. We have some in place already, and we’re monitoring high-volume biking areas and community feedback to identify other possible locations for the future. Find out more below.

If you see an issue with (or damage caused by) people walking, biking or using a micro-mobility device, you can report it.

Sharrows (meaning ‘share arrows’) are a road marking in the form of a bike symbol with two arrows above it. Sharrows tell people on bikes where they can ride safely on the road (sometimes, that’s in the middle of the lane), acting as a cue to let drivers know people on bikes can ‘claim the lane’. By using the sharrows, riders are more visible and can avoid hazards like suddenly-opening car doors.

They’re best installed in slow speed environments, and they help riders stay safe where it is too narrow and/or dangerous for a vehicle and a bike to comfortably travel side-by-side.

Hamilton’s first sharrow appeared on Claudelands Road/the Claudelands Bridge in October 2019. Since then, we’ve added them to locations in the central city, including Barton Street, along Victoria Street, between Claudelands Road and Hood Street, and Commerce Street between Lake Road and High Street. There’s also a set in Lynden Court, Chartwell.

Check out Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Code for Cyclists for more guidelines on sharing with care, including passing and positioning.

What to do when using a road where sharrows are installed

People on bikes:
Take the lane! This means positioning yourself in the middle of the traffic lane and not on the left hand side of the road.

Motorists:
Slow down and expect to see people riding further out in the traffic lane. Remember to be patient and only overtake them when they have moved back to the left.

Advanced stop boxes

Advanced stop boxes painted on the road can be found at some Hamilton intersections which are controlled by traffic lights. The boxes allow riders to stop ahead of other traffic and be more visible to motorists.

Hook turns

Turning right at intersections can be tricky for people on bikes. Hook ​turns are the safest way for riders to turn right at intersections. Check out Waka Kotakhi NZ Transport Agency’s Code for Cyclists information on cycling through intersections to see what a hook turn looks like and how to perform one.

Biking and micro-mobility devices info

Our Biking and Micro-mobility Programme also helps to inform our Long-Term Plan, Biking Connectivity Programme, Eastern Pathways, and other projects and strategies.

If you’d like more information and resources related to biking, find out about:

Related pages

Finding walkways and bike paths

Hamilton’s size and green landscape make it an ideal city for biking and walking. Discover a city walkway or bike path…

Bus lanes

Find out about bus lanes and who can use them.

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Last updated 15 June 2022