Riding for Awareness

It was a beautiful day for a ride and for a good reason – to make our community aware of the need to connect, for those who prefer to travel by bicycle, our islands, Folly,Isle of Palms and Sullivans to Downtown Charleston.And by doing so, connecting the surrounding cities of James Island and Mt Pleasant. Charleston Moves led by Tom Bradford and with the savy social marketing expertise provided by Obviouslee Marketing made a base hit Saturday. Hopefully we can look forward to additional regular hits
using this format. In time this could become a home run once a month for the cause and for the community of cyclists.

The article below appeared in The Post and Courier, Riding for awareness, article by, David Quick on Monday, November 1, 2010.

“On a crisp, sunny Saturday morning, two groups of cyclists–one departing from Isle of Palms County Park and another from Folly Beach County Park–set out to converge on The Battery’s White Point Garden for a Charleston Moves awareness ride for its Battery2Beach route.

Charleston Moves, the area’s nonprofit dedicated to making local roads safer for bikes and pedestrians, launched the effort to create the route earlier this year. It is helping raise money through Rent the Route Campaign, which asks people to pay $100 to “rent” a quarter-mile of the route.

About 50 riders met on the Battery after riding from either Isle of Palms County Park or Folly Beach County Park Saturday morning. it was part of Charleston Moves “Ride the Route” event.

About 50 cyclists of all ages participated in the rides to show support for the route, as well as safer roads in general.

Charleston Moves volunteer director Tom Bradford said establishing the route goes beyond the route itself.

“The first step is getting the broader community focused on the wisdom of this thing,” Bradford said. “This is about a much broader conversation about how we make all of our roads. It’s about quality communities and alternative forms of transportation.”

The route remains a work in progress, as are retrofitting many of the existing roads in Charleston and is specific in some areas and general in areas that are downright hostile to bikes now, such as the Fort Johnson Road corridor–which connects bike lanes on Harborview and Folly roads.

Bradford adds that the route represents more than a safe way to connect six different municipalities and even more business districts. He called Battery2Beach a “spine, concept, talking point and rallying point.”

“The big challenge is getting across the Ashley River, whether it’s a retrofit to Legare bridge or a free-standing bike and pedestrian bridge,” Bradford said.

“The bigger conversation is about our roads and about what you can do on our roads,” Bradford said. “I hope the Battery2Beach conversation sparks real creative thought about what Folly Road is. Folly Road is still a rural highway, but now it’s in an urban area. So they (officials) have got to basically rethink Follty Road.”

Charleston Moves board member Cathy Nixon addressed the crowd at the Battery and noted that the area deserves better bike and pedestrian facilities.

“We have a beautiful city. It’s an incredible place,” said Nixon. “We can do better and make it safer for lots more people on bikes.”

Copyright @1995-2010 Evening Post Publishing Co.

Posted: November 1st, 2010 under Uncategorized.

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