I spotted this sign this afternoon out in rural/suburban Hennepin County, Minnesota. This is a two-lane, moderately traveled roadway with shoulders on both sides of the roadway.
This is a signed “bike route” with the signs on the left side of the roadway, encouraging cyclists to ride on the left shoulder (against traffic), rather than the right shoulder. I’ve never seen this before. Maybe it used to be an acceptable practice? Generally, this should be avoided.
However, I can see a few special circumstances where this strategy might be used:
- If one shoulder is clearly wider than the other (and widening the other shoulder is not an option (meaning something more significant than the jurisdiction just doesn’t want to pay for it…)
- If the prevailing cycling traffic patterns naturally discouraged cyclists from crossing to the right side (i.e. all the trip origins and destinations were on only one side of the roadway).
Even in a situation where one of these conditions was met, I’m still not sure if I would ever recommend this practice to a client.