Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Savannah Bicycle Campaign is front page news

I was very happy to see the Savannah Bicycle Campaign's April 14 press conference on the front page of the Savannah Morning News this morning. Above the fold, even! You can read Chuck Mobley's excellent story and see John Carrington's photos here.

WTOC and WJCL/Fox 28 also made the scene. A short text summary is available on the WTOC site. And now Summer Teal Simpson has blogged about SBC on the Creative Coast's "Relocated Thinking."

UPDATE: Just found Jim Morekis' story, "Cycling into the future" in this week's Connect Savannah.

More information on joining the Savannah Bicycle Campaign and upcoming events including the Earth Day Savannah Wheelie Ride is available on the SBC Web site.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April 14, 2008: A date that will live in Savannah cycling history

In his 1984 book "The Squares: An Introduction to Savannah," the late Chan Sieg described Johnson Square this way: "If there is one square that can be said to represent the 'essential Savannah,' it is Johnson. The first square to be laid out and named by Oglethorpe, Johnson has never relinquished the title."

The square has been the scene of many important gatherings of Savannah's citizens, including the mass meeting stirred by the news of President Lincoln's death (depicted in the Harper's Weekly illustration above). In the 1990s, the square was the rendezvous point where be-caped dorks came together to play that ridiculous vampire role playing game on Friday and Saturday nights.

On Monday, Johnson Square will be the site of an equally historic event in the lives of Savannah bicyclists. Will they declare their independence from the United States? Ride their bikes through the square in violation of city ordinance? Fashion homemade jerseys to wear in the Tour de Georgia?

All kidding aside, Monday will be a pretty important day for Savannah cyclists. A press conference will be held on April 14 at 11 a.m. in Johnson Square in Downtown Savannah. The event marks the official launch of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. The group was organized to work through the political, public policy, and citizen advocacy processes to develop more and better bicycle facilities in Savannah—improved bike lanes, racks, and signage—and to plan and initiate a public campaign to educate bicyclists and drivers about safe practices on and off the roadways. More information is available on the Savannah Bicycle Campaign Web site.

I'm proud to be part of the SBC and I'm hopeful that the group can make real progress in improving conditions for cyclists. The group boasts a diverse membership and is bringing together Savannah's disparate cycling tribes: commuters, racers, tourers, utility cyclists, recreational cyclists and fixed gear riding college students. By uniting under the SBC banner, Savannah cyclists have a much better shot at success than they would working independently.

I invite all bicyclists to join us at the press conference. I want to see diverse group of cyclists turn out for the press conference to demonstrate that citizens of all walks of life are interested in making Savannah safer and friendlier to cyclists.