With 44 miles of recreational trails that run through parks, wooded areas, fields, over rivers and roads as well as along streets and through neighborhoods, the City's recreational path system, known as the Westerville Bike and Walkways (B&W), is traversed by thousands of residents and visitors each week.
As an official Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, many of those path users are not only walkers and runners, but families out on their bikes and competitive cyclists alike. Whether using the trails for recreation or transportation, safety on the trails is a top priority for the City.
Bike Safe Westerville
The Westerville Parks and Recreation Department and the Division of Police teamed up to create a Bike Safe Westerville video series to highlight the importance of preventative bike maintenance, general safe practices and rules to follow while riding on the roadway or path. Before heading out on the B&W, we encourage you to review the path rules and the Bike Safe Westerville videos below.
Bikeway Rules (Ordinance No. 05-13)
- Abide by all signage
- Yield to cross traffic at intersections
- Keep right except to pass
- Announce passing
- Avoid blocking trail
- Respect others and private property
- Pets must be leashed/Obey scoop law
- Unauthorized motorized vehicles prohibited
- Users shall observe a fifteen (15) miles per hour speed limit on all Park Trails
Bike lanes are the portion of the roadway which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement marking for preferential or the exclusive use by bicyclists. Bicycle lanes make the movements of both motorists and bicyclists more predictable.
According to Ohio law, bicycles are considered vehicles. This means bicyclists have the same rights as motor vehicle drivers and must follow the same rules. Bicycles are permitted on all roads except limited-access highways. Generally, bicyclists should not be expected or encouraged to use sidewalks. Westerville does not prohibit sidewalk cycling except in Uptown, but many jurisdictions do.
Shared Lanes (Sharrows)
On streets with narrow lanes, sharrows are placed in the middle of the lane. This encourages bicyclists to “take the lane” so that motorists will not pass them at an unsafe distance. Three feet is considered a minimum safe passing distance.
On streets with lanes wide enough to allow a large vehicle to safely pass a bicyclist within the same lane (at least 14 feet wide), sharrows are placed closer to the right edge of the lane.
On streets with on-street parking, sharrows guide bicyclists to avoid the (car) door zone. In such cases, the center of each sharrow is 14 feet, 8 inches from the curb.