For Immediate Release
Date: June 16, 2016
The bicycle emerged once more as the champion of the Dump the Pump Challenge today, holding on to its title as the fastest commute downtown.
Savannah Bicycle Campaign member Jen Colestock pedaled across the City Hall finish line around 8:14 a.m., just 14 minutes after departing the 12 Oaks Shopping Center south of DeRenne Avenue. At 8:20 a.m. the car rider and bus riders arrived nearly simultaneously, as City Environmental Services and Sustainability Coordinator Ashley Helmholdt and Alderman Bill Durrence, who rode a CAT bus downtown, and City Environmental Services and Sustainability Director Nick Deffley, who drove his personal car, crossed the finish line.
“We’ve come a long way in making Savannah bike-friendly, we have a great community for biking,” said Mayor Eddie DeLoach, who placed the coveted Challenge medal around Colestock’s neck. “We want to continue to increase the safety of our streets for all commuters.”
The competitors had to follow all traffic laws and take the most direct route available. The bus rider got off at the nearest bus stop to City Hall, while the car competitor drove down Abercorn and Drayton streets, then parked at the State Street Garage and walked to the City Hall finish line.
The cyclist, meanwhile, could ride directly to the finish line, where a City bike rack is located – one of more than 150 bike racks added to downtown Savannah in recent years.
“One of the main reasons that brought me to Savannah was the ease of biking here, it’s a beautiful place to ride your bike,” Colestock said. “I encourage everyone who is interested to give it a shot, once a week or once a month, try biking.”
The City of Savannah, CAT and the Savannah Bicycle Campaign have organized Savannah’s Dump the Pump Challenge since 2008 as part of National Dump the Pump Day. Dump the Pump is a national event organized by the American Public Transportation Association that promotes alternative forms of commuting that are cheaper and cleaner for the environment. The latest APTA report showed that a two-person household that downsizes to one car can save on average $10,174 per year.
"We’re lucky in Savannah to have so many transportation options,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. “Working together, we can continue to improve our bicycle infrastructure, making the city a more livable, more healthy and more vibrant place to live."
The event was also used to officially announce the availability of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign’s new Bike SAV map and guide, which contains guidance on route selection, safe cycling tips, and a briefing on state and local laws pertaining to bikes. The Bike SAV guide was designed by Caila Brown, chair of the Bicycle Campaign board, and funded by grants from the Governor’s Office and Highway Safety and the Downtown Neighborhood Association. Technical assistance was provided by City of Savannah and Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization staff. More than 5,000 copies of the map have been distributed to locations around Savannah, including bike shops, the Savannah Visitors Center, and City of Savannah and Chatham Area Transit offices. The bike map is also available online at www.bicyclecampaign.org/routes.