Hilton Head Grows With Bicycle Community - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Hilton Head Grows With Bicycle Community

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -

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It's common in Hilton Head to see folks riding around on two wheels, and with more than 20% bikes available to rent, it's a pretty popular means of transportation.

"Very few places like this exist, where you can get on a bike with your family, spend the entire day on a bicycle and never see the same place and be safe and also go to the beach. It's pretty cool," said Frank Babel.

Babel is not just a bicyclist, but leads the Hilton Head Bicycle Advisory Committee, who's worked with town officials in boosting safety for riders.

"We have targeted the locations we have found to be the most frequent locations for vehicle-bicycle collisions, and conducted safety reviews with local biking experts and advocates to determine what safety measures we could come up with to implement to not only address the number but the types of collisions that were occurring and we've implemented them. Signing improvements, signaling improvements, and pavement marking improvements," said Darrin Shoemaker, Town Traffic and Transportation Engineer.

And those improvements seem to be paying off. Officials report that the number of car-versus-bike accidents dropped more than 35% last year since they began installing the safety measures. This is good news to Frank Babel, who says bicycling has become crucial to this community, and he's happy that folks can be safe while enjoying all that the island has to offer.

"We have over 57 miles of pathways that are safe for recreational cyclists, we have 12 miles of bike able beach, we got a lot of parks, we have 200 restaurants, pots of places to shop, and you can do it all on the back of a bike."

In addition to everything just described, the town will be adding two more bike paths as well as informational kiosks at 20 locations around the island to enhance the riding experience.

 

 

There are about 20,000 bicycles available to be rented on Hilton Head Island. To keep up with growing number of bicyclists, the town has implemented safety precautions such as signs, signals, and bike path extensions. Town officials say these seem to have helped, for the first time in six years, the number of vehicle-vs.-bike accidents is down by 35%.

NEWS 3's Brittany Shane will have a full report coming up tonight at 6pm and later on WSAV.com.

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