Ohio State hosted a Share the Road event on Wednesday along West Woodruff Avenue to promote traffic safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
OSU officials and University Police were present to promote the educational initiative that asks for all travelers to be aware of their surroundings and not engage in distracting behaviors, no matter what mode of transportation is utilized.
“The whole idea for Share the Road is be consistent in our messaging to students, faculty and staff that we all have to get there and we want to get there as quickly as possible, but we want to share the road with everyone,” said Dan Hedman, spokesman for OSU’s Office of Administration and Planning. “Whether you are a pedestrian, a bicyclist or driving vehicle, just make sure you recognize others on the road and share the road as much as possible.”
Since students use varying forms of transportation, it is important that they follow all applicable traffic laws, the Share the Road website emphasizes.
“I don’t think there is any one mode of transportation that is more important to enforce than others,” Rose said. “They all have their own dangers, their own risks and certainly their own responsibilities for making sure others on the roadway stay safe.”
Minimizing cell phone use as well as being mindful of other travelers can prevent distracting behaviors that can lead to traffic accidents, according to the Share the Road website.
“Obviously there are a tremendous number of people here in a very small space and the only way we can all be safe is if we respect everyone’s rights,” Rose said.
Some of the other safety tips promoted Wednesday encouraged pedestrians to use crosswalks and sidewalks, cyclists to wear helmets and motorists to obey all traffic signs, signals and speed limits.
Share the Road also posted signs around campus to remind students to be safe while utilizing the roadways.
“We’re pushing hard for traffic safety with additional students living on campus this semester now that the North Residential District is fully open,” Hedman said.
OSU has been promoting Share the Road since 2012, but, this year, bike safety was one of the main focuses of the program.
“We got a grant through Ohio Department of Transportation to promote safety,” said Beth Snoke, director of Transportation and Traffic Management. “We got $25,000 worth of helmets that we are able to give out to all those who sign up for an annual membership (for OSU’s bike-sharing program).”
Another important safety concern the initiative addresses is the fact that The Oval is a dedicated walk zone, therefore non-pedestrians must dismount in order to walk through
“A bike is considered a vehicle in the state of Ohio, so you are supposed to ride on the streets,” Snoke said. “So obey the stoplights, crosswalks, walk your bike in our sidewalk, walk your bike if you are going around the Oval.”