Savannah, Ga — (WSAV-TV) Travis Berry hasn’t owned a car in 11 years.
“I just gave up on cars, ya know buying the really cheap cars, and constantly fixing them up and finally just said forget it,” Berry said.
He bought a bike, and fell in love. He lives in Downtown Savannah and rides to work near Highland Park.
“I ride at least 10 miles every day,” he said, but that’s nothing compared to what he really likes to do.
“I rode form Savannah to Michigan, from Michigan to Philly, then jumped on a train and came back,” Berry said.
He’s biked all over the United States, but when it comes to Savannah, he’s here for the weather, not the streets.
“I don’t think a lot of people really understand… that you’re allowed to be on the road here, like everyone is like why are you there or like honk at you or yell at you.”
The leaders at Savannah Bicycle campaign know this commonality and have made their mission to change it.
“There are a lot of streets here that are totally unsafe for people who walk or ride bikes or use transit,” said John Bennett, the executive director, “We need to make sure that every street in savannah is safe for everyone no matter how they choose to use it.”
While Savannah is number one in the state of Georgia for bicyclist commuting, the city only has two official bike lanes– one on Price St. and the other on Lincoln.
And statistics on the success of the two bike lanes prove they make a difference. On Price, “In the years after the bike lane was installed, motor vehicle crashes went down 27%,” said Bennett.
But he adds, “It’s been more than 5 years since we added any new bicycle infrastructure in Savannah.”
He’s optimist for the new year, however. The Savannah Bicycle Campaign just received a nearly $30,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
“We’re looking forward to working with the city this year to catch us back up to what other cities around the state are doing,” Bennett said.
And while Bennett says he thinks that people will still drive through the bike lane, “at least makes you feel a little bit safer,” he said.