Monday, May 11, 2009

Columbus Announces "Share the Road" Campaign - Official Press Release

Columbus City Council issued this press release today. It's exciting to be a cyclist in Columbus these days, let me tell you!

City of Columbus Launches Share The Road Initiative, Bike To Work Week, Wins National Award For Bicycle Friendly City Efforts
The City’s new Share The Road initiative to encourage greater safety for bicyclists and motorists is the next step to make Columbus more bike friendly city. Mayor Michael B. Coleman was joined by City Council, Ohio State University, other local and state leaders and bicycle advocates today at OSU and the Statehouse to roll out the program and launch Bike To Work Week.

Share The Road will use new road signs and pavement markings called “sharrows” to remind motorists and cyclists they are legally required to share lanes. The signs and sharrows, unveiled today, will be installed this summer on North High Street between Nationwide Boulevard and Morse Road. The pilot project will be reviewed prior to possible use of the signs and markings across the city.

“We are introducing new signs and new markings on the roadway to remind everyone to be active, stay safe and share the road,” said Mayor Coleman. “It is important that motorists and cyclists alike understand how to get to work safely on our city streets.”

Share The Road signs and sharrows work will be funded through a partnership with the Ohio Department of Development. Share The Road is built around the four E’s: Education; Engagement, Engineering; and Enforcement. It’s the latest step in the City’s Bicentennial Bikeways Plan that calls for an additional 31 miles of off-street trails and 58 miles of on-street bike lanes and routes. The city currently has 87 miles of bike routes and trails.

“We know that when people feel safe, they’ll be more comfortable riding their bikes – to work, and for recreation and exercise,” said Hearcel F. Craig, City Council Public Service and Transportation Committee Chair. “Motorists also have a responsibility in making this possible. Both bicyclists and motorists have legal access to our streets. We all need to watch carefully for slower moving vehicles – and pedestrians.”

The new signs and sharrows were rolled out at North High Street and 10th Avenue new The Ohio State University.

“Ohio State has the largest concentration of bicyclists in the City — about 10,000,” Gee said. “So it is vitally important we inform our students, faculty and staff how they can be safe – either on their bikes, or in their cars.”

“Anyone who rides a bike in Columbus knows that, in the past, bicycling on High Street was an accident waiting to happen,” said Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, Franklin County Clerk of Courts and former chair of City Council’s Public Service and Development Committees. “Research has shown that High Street has the most car-bicycle accidents in the city. Share the Road is a great beginning. It will raise the consciousness of motorists and cyclists – and enhance safety. Bikes deserve the same respect as cars on High Street and on all streets in our community.”

Consider Biking, a Columbus cycling advocacy group, calls Share The Road a great addition to the City. The group today presented Mayor Coleman with the League of American Bicyclists’ national award recognizing Columbus as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

“World class cities have world class ways to move people by ways other than cars,” said Consider Biking Executive Director Jeff Stephens. “This award verifies that the investment we are making in bike accommodations is paying off.”

“Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for this award. Credit goes to hard working city employees and our partners, including Consider Biking, for the nomination, as well as ODOT, MORPC, OSU and every cyclist in Columbus who makes us the best two-wheeling city in the nation,” said Mayor Coleman.

The award is also reflected in the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC) new local Bikeway Usability Map, a snapshot of the current conditions for bicyclists who use our major roads during non-rush hour times. The map was premiered at today’s event.

“The usability map is a tool bicyclists can use to chart their own bicycle routes based on their level of experience and comfort on roadways,” said MORPC Executive Director Chester R. Jourdan, Jr.. “MORPC is committed to helping our entire region work together to identify and improve the best corridors for bicycle travel.”

The Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District today presented its first-ever recognition of Bike Friendly buildings downtown for addressing the needs of employees who bike to work.

A phone survey was taken of the top 30 largest buildings in the downtown core seeking how they handled bike parking for tenants, guests and if any additional accommodations (lockers, showers) were offered for free.

More information about Share the Road is online at www.sharetheroadcolumbus.org

Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District First Ever Bike Friendly Buildings List
• Rhodes Tower (30 E Broad)
• Huntington Center (41 S High)
• Capitol Square Office Tower (65 E State)
• Riffe Center (77 S High)
• William Green Tower
• Nationwide Buildings
• 280 North High Street
• Lazarus Office Building / Government Center
• Miranova 2 Office Tower
• Motorists Mutual Building
• US Bank Building (175 S Third)
• SERS (300 E Broad)
Can't wait to see the new sharrows on my commute home today!

People, not speed.

3 comments:

  1. Well all of this is a start to all of the talk of getting the City to be bike-friendly by 2012. One of the next steps is to get more three-lane roads and improved shoulders to ride on.

    ScottNorthSide

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  2. I'll be excited when there's more than one sign and sharrow on all of High St. Can't we just get it done?

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  3. I think it's highly ironic that the bikeway usability map pertains to access to roadways at non-rush hour times. Exactly when us bike commuters aren't needing them.

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