By Nicole Rogers
The Savannah Bicycle Campaign (SBC) achieved a goal that was two years in the making when the Savannah City Council voted in favor of putting a bike lane on Price Street on Sept. 22. This project is planned to be implemented within the next few months and completed by the end of this year.
SBC is a nonprofit that believes in “building a better Savannah through bicycling,” said Frank McIntosh, executive director of the SBC. McIntosh started as a member of the SBC’s Board of Directors four years ago before securing his current position in 2009.
McIntosh believes that, as a cycling organization, SBC felt compelled to push for safety and security for themselves and others in the cycling community.
“So many people ride the wrong way on Lincoln Street. I saw a young lady get hit by a car riding the wrong way on Price Street, and the car that hit her didn’t even receive a citation. She actually was responsible for paying liability to the driver.”
Safety is not the only obligation the SBC feels it has to Savannahians. They pride themselves on following the Five E’s that have been set in place by the League of American Bicyclists.
Engineering: Makes sure that there are facilities for people to be able to bicycle happily. Are there well-designed lanes throughout the community?
Education: Teach cyclist the proper riding skills and motorists how to share the road. Education is also important in teaching cyclists their rights.
SBC offers Traffic skills 101, a vehicular cycling course on how to operate a bicycle effectively and safely in traffic.
“You have a right to use the road, but you need to use it in a way that’s respectful of others,” said McIntosh.
Enforcement: Enforce the laws of of the community.
Encouragement: Put on events that encourage the community to ride.
SBC promoted the Midnight Garden Ride, hosting more than 600 bicyclists over Labor Day weekend. The event encouraged many people to get back on their bikes.
Evaluation: Evaluate whether or not the organization is making a difference to the public. Do the new facilities work properly? How many people are being educated about cycle safety?
The SBC is trying to propose a bicycle recycling store. They plan to get old and/or abandoned bicycles refurnished to give to the less fortunate and nondiscretionary riders, who ride because they have to.
“One thing I love about the principles of the bicycle campaign is that they are certainly dedicated to try and use bicycles as utilitarian. It’s not all about putting on your spandex and going out fiddling around the countryside,” said McIntosh.
“We would also give an hour of cycling instruction, and maybe sell them helmets and any other safety items.”
McIntosh is proud that the SBC insists on staying ethical. He asserts that the SBC always has been and always will be an organization that serves the community.
Contact Nicole Rogers.