May is Bike Month, a nationally-recognized initiative focused on celebrating the benefits of bicycling and building awareness to improve safety of all those who ride – for transportation and recreation. Bike Walk Greenville launched its People on Bikes Campaign this month. The campaign sends a clear message – those people you see riding bikes around town, they are our friends, our children and our neighbors. They have names, lives and families that care about them. They have as much right to use the road as any motorist. So respect them.
People who ride bikes are not trying to take anything away from anyone. We are students on our way to school each morning. We are business executives headed to a meeting downtown. We are simply people trying to get from point A to B safely, just like motorists.
Greenville is becoming known across the country as a destination for recreational and competitive cycling. Some Greenville citizens therefore misperceive that all bicycling is recreational in nature and therefore all cycling can and should be limited to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and other off-road facilities. The truth, however, is that many people on bikes are not recreating at all – they are simply trying to get where they need to go. In other words, their bicycle is their means for transportation. Some Greenville citizens in fact, rely on bicycling – either by choice or necessity – as their primary means for transportation.
The Greenville Journal’s recent article posed the question, “Can Greenville’s motorists and cyclists find a way to get along?” We believe the answer is yes. It has to be. Both motorists and people on bikes are here to stay. We best unite together to create a system where each can go about their business safely and efficiently.
With that in mind, we urge Greenville County Council to advance the penny sales tax referendum currently under discussion. If successful, the project list that would be completed would make our transportation system safer for all – motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians included. We encourage our city and county leaders to become more innovative in their approaches to providing safe infrastructure that meets the needs of all travelers. As was discussed in the Journal article, the demand is there – our community is just trying to play catch-up.
Special thanks to Upstate Forever/Greenville B-cycle, LiveWell Greenville, Safe Kids Upstate, Greenlink and Fairway Outdoor Advertising for providing the resources to make the People on Bikes Campaign possible! Thanks also to Wall-to-Wall Studios who designed the campaign and provided it to BWG at a highly discounted rate.