Justin Goodwin of Clintonville, who would rather ride a bike than drive a car pretty much anytime, offers some pointers for both cyclists and motorists.

Justin Goodwin of Clintonville, who would rather ride a bike than drive a car pretty much anytime, offers some pointers for both cyclists and motorists.

For bicyclists:

Be predictable. Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it. If you've chosen to ride your bike in the street, be prepared to stay in the street. Don't weave back and forth from the sidewalk to the street or between parked cars; drivers aren't anticipating that type of movement. In fact, it is illegal for adults to ride bikes on city sidewalks, as this poses a danger to pedestrians.

Signal turns with the commonly recognized hand signals: Left hand pointing upward for a right turn and left hand pointing downward or to the left for a left turn. Ride in a straight line whenever possible, to the right of traffic. Follow lane markings, especially when making right or left turns, and be in the proper lane.

Obey the rules of the road. If you have a driver's license, you should already know the rules; they are the same for both cars and bikes. It seems that nearly everyone has witnessed a cyclist run a red light or a stop sign at some point. This behavior is dangerous, illegal and perpetuates negative stereotypes of bicyclists. Perhaps the most important thing you can do to earn bicyclists greater respect from motorists is to obey stop signs and traffic signals. When approaching a stop sign or red light, come to a complete stop and proceed only when safe to do so.

Be alert. Make eye contact with auto drivers. Watch for right-turning traffic. Look back before you pass or merge. Yield to pedestrians. Keep both hands ready to brake. Avoid road hazards and watch your speed.

Be equipped and be visible. Use reflectors and lights at night, including both a red tail light and a bright headlight. Keep your bike in working order. Wear a helmet and use a mirror.

For motorists:

Be prepared. Expect bikes on the road and in any lane of travel. If a cyclist needs to turn left, he or she may need to merge across multiple traffic lanes to access a left turn lane, just like a car. Look for bikes at intersections and when opening doors. When turning right, look to make sure a cyclist isn't approaching from behind.

Watch your speed. Many of our streets are designed to accommodate higher speeds than are posted. It is easy to find oneself speeding, even if it is unintentional. Keep an eye on your speed and drive at or below the speed limit at all times. This is safer for everybody.

Pass with care and give bikes space. Be patient and wait to pass until there is sufficient space to do so. If there are multiple lanes of traffic in the same direction, try to merge into another lane if possible and then merge back after passing the cyclist. If you must pass in the same lane as the cyclist, slow down, even if it means dropping your speed below the posted speed limit for a brief period of time. Always use your turn signals.

Be patient. Don't honk your horn at cyclists, especially out of anger or impatience. Remember, bicyclists are legally allowed to "take the lane," meaning they can ride in the center of the travel lane if they feel it would be unsafe to ride along the edge of the street. Expect cyclists to take the lane on streets with poor pavement conditions and in areas with on-street parking.

Finally, don't forget the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be respectful to your fellow commuters, regardless of their choice of vehicle. Be patient, be courteous and obey all traffic laws.

Cyclists and motorists have an equal right to use the roadway and we all share the responsibility for ensuring our safety.