Sharing the road is a two-way street.

Sharing the road is a two-way street.

Clintonville resident Justin Goodwin, an avid cyclist, has seen his share of motorists who don't know the first thing about sharing driving lanes on city streets. By the same token, Goodwin said that he's observed bicyclists who don't keep up their end of the bargain when it comes to following the rules of the road.

City crews last week began painting 188 "sharrows," white outlines of bicycle riders intended to inform motorists they are driving in lanes they share with people using pedal power, along North High Street from Nationwide Boulevard to Morse Road. This came in the wake of new "Share the Road" traffic signs going up earlier in the same corridor.

The reminders are good, in Goodwin's view, but remaining alert, whether behind the wheel or holding the handlebars, is even more important.

"They're pretty large," he said of the new sharrows. "They take up a large portion of the right lane when you see them ... so it's important for motorists to understand that's not now a bike lane exclusively. It simply means that lane tends to be where one can see cyclists, but at the same time it doesn't mean that cyclists won't be in other lanes at times."

Goodwin, 30, a planning assistant with the city of Dublin, rode his bicycle a lot as a youth but, like many people, pretty much gave it up once he got a driver's license.

After enrolling at Ohio University, where he majored in geography, Goodwin couldn't have a car on campus and returned to cycling, discovering that riding the hills in and around Athens also was a great way to stay in shape. After going on to graduate study in urban and regional planning at Ohio State, Goodwin said that he continued to ride his bike as much as possible.

He does so to this day.

"I try to bike as much as I can in my neighborhood," Goodwin said. "I enjoy cycling both for recreation and as a means to get to destinations."

He frequently rides on busy North High Street.

"That's not necessarily for everyone," Goodwin said. "It takes a while to get comfortable."

Although he's never been in a bicycle-car accident, Goodwin, who has served on several Clintonville Area Commission subcommittees looking into transportation issues, has had his share of near-misses. On occasion he has had the sense a driver was deliberately not providing sufficient space for him as a bike rider.

"I think that's a rare occurrence, but it does happen," Goodwin said. "Occasionally there's an impatience with cyclists being on the road."

He's also had his fair share of being yelled at by motorists, things like "Keep off the road!" and "Stay out of the way!"

"Sometimes some of that reaction is maybe based on observations of poor bicyclist behavior," Goodwin conceded. "There are cyclists who either don't understand their own obligations or maybe cut the corners, and that's not really helpful to anybody because that just perpetuates that animosity between motorists and bicyclists."

In spite of occasional animosity on either side of the cyclist-motorist side of the equation, the professional planner said that he does feel recent years have brought a greater degree of understanding between people who ride and people who drive when it comes to sharing the same streets.

"There's a growing recognition, not just in my field but I think in society at large that we need to look at multiple modes of transportation so that we increase our choices," Goodwin said.

"I do think that more people are becoming aware that cycling is not just for kids," he added. "It's fun for everybody."