Since 2016, Bike Friendly West Bend collaborated with the City of West Bend to develop and implement the bike route. The Common Council acted to install the loop in February 2021. The route is eight miles in total length. It is identified on roadways with signage and sharrow markers placed between 200 to 250 feet apart, in adherence with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation guidelines. Sharrows are not considered bike lanes, but instead serve as visual indicators to promote roadway sharing and to direct bicyclists traveling on the route.
West Bend Bike Loop FAQs
What is the West Bend Bike Loop?
The West Bend Bike Loop is a designated bicycle route designed to interconnect city assets for residents and visitors. It also promotes bicycling as a mode of transportation and encourages an active lifestyle. The West Bend Bike Loop is a result of a multi-year collaboration between Bike Friendly West Bend and the City of West Bend.
What is the intention of the bike loop?
The West Bend Bike Loop is intended to connect schools, businesses, public parks and trails, and other destinations throughout the community. It is also intended to promote an alternate mode of transportation and healthy lifestyle.
How long is the route?
The West Bend Bike Loop is approximately eight miles in total length.
What are sharrows?
Sharrows – a combination of sharing the roadway and directional arrows – are painted markers on the road to alert motor vehicles of increased bicycle use and promote sharing the roadway. A sharrow does not limit a bicycle use of the road pavement; it is a positioning tool that tells bicyclists where best to ride to avoid hazards. One way to use a sharrow is to aim your front tire to run over the middle pointed end of the chevrons.
Is a sharrow the same as a bike lane?
No. A sharrow is not a bike lane. It is only a marker to promote sharing the road and direct bicyclists on the route. It is not a space reserved only for bicycles and it does not change any rights or responsibilities of bicyclists or of other vehicles on the road.
How are the sharrow distances determined?
The placement of sharrows on the pavement follow standards published by the Wisconsin Department of transportation (WisDOT):
- On sections of street with No Parking, the sharrows are painted so their center is located four (4) feet from the face of curb.
- On sections of streets where parking is allowed, the sharrows are painted so their center is located eleven (11) feet from the face of curb, so they would not be covered when parked vehicles are present.
Does a bicyclist have to follow the sharrows?
No. Sharrows are purely informational and offer direction to bicyclists who want to follow that specific route. There is no enforcement associated with the signs or markings.
Can I still bike on the sidewalks?
The West Bend Bike Loop does not change the rights of bicyclists to operate on sidewalks within the city of West Bend in accordance to §7.16.(7)(b):
- 7.16.(7)(b) (Amend. Ord. #2406 - 8/6/01). Bicycles may be operated on sidewalks except in any area zoned B-2 Central Business District (Historic downtown Barton and West Bend). Bicycles on sidewalks shall be operated at a low rate of speed, and shall yield the right of way to pedestrians.