Savannah Weighs Bike Ban in Beloved City Park

Savannah is considering outlawing bicycling in one of its famous parks. Photo: Savannah Bicycle Campaign
Savannah markets itself with this photo of people biking in Forsyth Park, which may soon become illegal for anyone older than 12. Photo: Savannah Bicycle Campaign

Talk about a reductive view of safety. After a couple of unusual incidents where bicyclists collided with pedestrians in Savannah’s 30-acre Forsyth Park, the city is now considering outlawing cycling in the park.

Savannah Bicycle Campaign says that will force cyclists onto nearby streets where traffic moves at deadly speeds, and the city has no plan to redesign them:

A proposed city ordinance would expand the current “dismount” zone in Forsyth Park to prohibit anyone over 12 from riding a bike anywhere in the park.

The ordinance is being proposed without offering any convenient, safe alternative routes for people on bikes. As a result, many people will attempt to use Whitaker and Drayton streets, which are dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians because of car and truck traffic, often traveling at speeds over 40 m.p.h.

More information and an opportunity to offer comments are available on the City of Savannah website. Please take a moment to let City of Savannah officials know what you think of this ordinance.

The Savannah Bicycle Campaign remains committed to working with city officials, neighborhood associations, businesses owners and other partners to find long term solutions that improve safety in the park and on nearby streets. Making Whitaker and Drayton streets safe for all users should be the primary and immediate goal.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Missouri Bike Federation shares testimony from the trial of a St. Louis-area mayor accused of intentionally striking a bicyclist with his car and then speeding away. The Dallas Morning News’ Transportation Blog reports on discussions in the Big D about building a second downtown light rail line. Wash Cycle shares more evidence that the “Idaho Stop” is safer for cyclists. And Systemic Failure argues that Buy America provisions and other federal regulations contributed to a fatal MetroLink derailment earlier this year.

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