The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) on Sept. 29 released a new version of the Columbus Metro Bike Users Map.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) on Sept. 29 released a new version of the Columbus Metro Bike Users Map.

The map depicts bicycling routes throughout Franklin County and parts of surrounding counties based on bikeway levels of service, which are described as either good, moderate, poor, residential, existing off-road bikeways, bike lanes, sharrows or committed bikeways. The map provides residents with essential, user-friendly information for safe bicycling in a bustling metropolis.

"With last week's high number of pedestrian and bicycle crashes involving school children, it is important to remind both motorists and non-motorists on their respective roles and responsibilities," Kerstin Carr, MORPC manager for active transportation and safety programs, said in a press release. "All types of users have a place in our transportation system, and we need to make it safe for everyone. This must be done by providing the appropriate infrastructure while increasing safety education and enforcement."

The map was introduced in May 2009, and 30,000 copies have been distributed. The 2010 version includes minor changes and safety tips on how to share the road, according to MORPC. For example, bicyclists are reminded to drive with traffic and obey the same traffic signs and signals as motorists. At night, bicyclists are required to have white front and red rear lights on the bike to ensure visibility. Bicycles are allowed on all non-freeway roads so motorists should allow at least 3 feet of space to pass bicyclists.

The map was developed through collaboration among MORPC, the city of Columbus, COTA and Consider Biking.

Maps will be available at 30 local bike shops and co-ops in the central Ohio region. They also will be available soon at many libraries and recreation centers. The maps also are online at www.morpc.org/bikemaps.