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Sharing the road
New markers denote national bike route through Great Bend
Great Bend Public Works Street Division employee Tom Welcher uses a stencil as he spray paints a sharrow on Broadway Avenue near K-96 Monday afternoon. The markers denote the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail through town.

There are some new markings on some of the main streets through Great Bend. The white sharrows, featuring a bicycle silhouette and two chevrons, mark the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail through town.

The city Public Works Street Division employees have been spray painting the sharrows over the past couple of weeks as the weather allows. In all, there will be over 100 of them going up along a route from Patton Road to Broadway Avenue, Broadway to Main Street, and on Main south out of town via U.S. 281, said Public Works Director Jason Cauley.

Shared lane markings (sharrows) are pavement markings that improve cycling safety on streets that are too narrow for traditional bike lanes. These markings indicate to drivers that the road is a preferred bicycle route, and that they should be prepared to share the road with cyclists.

As of 2019, Great Bend has been on the Adventure Cycling Trans America Trail. Technically, the route follows K-96 to 10th Street. But, this is the official alternate route that takes riders close to a newly established campground at Central Baptist Church and through the downtown.

The Be Well Barton County committee, part of the Central Kansas Partnership focused on active transportation, gave the city $2,4000 in grant funds through the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Grant at the Barton County Health Department. This money was used to pay for a portion of this project.

The TransAmerica trail is network of routes running from Astoria, Ore., over 4,200 miles to Yorktown, Va.

sharrow 2
Shown one of the finished sharrows.