Bicyclists and Motorists Reminded to Share the Road
COLUMBUS (May 8, 2009) – As bicycle enthusiasts across Ohio prepare for National Bike Week,May 11-15, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is reminding motorists to “Share the Road” with bike riders.
In 2008, there were 2,031 crashes in Ohio involving motorists and cyclists – 1,332 in intersections, 494 in non-intersections, and 186 in driveways. The crashes resulted in 18 fatalities and 1,582 injuries.
Statewide, ODOT has awarded $46.7 million to 90 bicycle and pedestrian projects since 2003. Those projects include the creation of bike paths, bike lanes, along with extending and modernizing bikeways.
This spring, ODOT will invest up to $200,000 in partnership with the city of Columbus on a project that will improve bicycle safety along a heavily traveled, 6.5 mile stretch of High Street from just north of the Ohio State University campus to downtown. New signs and “Share the Road Arrows,” or “Sharows” will be painted on the road in areas too narrow for a bike lane. They are intended to keep cyclists away from parked cars while promoting awareness of their right to use the road.
As parts of Bike Week, there are events planned statewide, which promote the health, financial, and environmental benefits of cycling. In Cleveland, several partners are offering bicyclists free breakfast, bike parking and showers for the week in an effort to encourage riding. In Toledo, cyclists will only have to pay a $.25 fare when they “Bike to Bus.” In the capital city, several dignitaries will make their morning commute on their bicycles and then gather for a rally at the Ohio Statehouse.
The week culminates with Friday’s National Bike to Work Day. Here are some other tips to help bicyclists and motorists “Share the Road.”
- Bicyclists ride in the same direction as traffic so stay alert and be aware of cyclists on the side of the road.
- Motorists should maintain a three-foot clearance at all times when passing a bicycle.
- The rules of the road, especially at traffic signals and intersections, apply to both motorists and cyclists.
- Motorists and bicyclists should share the road…equally.
For more information on bicycling in Ohio, visit www.dot.state.oh.us/bike.
For more information, contact Nancy Burton, Central Office Communications, at (614) 728-8915
or your local ODOT District Communications Office.