Biking & Walking are now more important than ever.

During this community crisis, biking & walking can provide community connection, mental relief, physical fitness, and transit utility. They can be your path to resilience, individually and with your community. So go for a ride or a walk. It’s more important now than ever.

Get out and ride.

Citadel researchers, studying fitness for military recruitment, determined that people who bike regularly recover more quickly from injuries and illnesses. Biking is something you CAN do with physical distance from others. So let’s ride: you’ll feel better, see more people, probably wave to a few folks, and refresh yourself for life ahead. At best, if you have kids, it’ll wear them out for a good nap…

Find a good trail. The weather is great. Find SC trails here, some paved, some not. Or see this shorter list that’s entirely paved.

Use your local bike map. Don’t have one? Curate some routes, and then get with your local planner to devise one, from their data and your curated routes.

Got an e-bike? Even better? Participate in this E-bike study, and be a part of something bigger.

Take a Stroll, and conduct a Walk Audit on the way.

Here are some resources to turn a walk into a learning experience:

Advocate for your bike shops.

People need bikes now, and we need our shops to stay open. Help them remain classified “essential businesses”, by educating your local city council champion. This is key as cities enact more coronavirus countermeasures. Even Mayor Cuomo of NYC determined bike shops are “essential businesses”.

If you need help explaining it to elected officials, you might say any of the following: 1) bike shops provide maintenance service to bikes often used for transportation purposes, and they are used as a transit utility for some without any other mode available, 2) bikes are a means for necessary physical activity and are a good recreation when social distancing, 3) bikes help us stay connected to our community, allowing us to wave and say “hi” as we take critical breaks while homebound.

Read:Legislative update.

Late last week S.723, the Hands Free bill, and S.906 were headed for a vote in the Senate Transportation committee, but session came to a halt with the national coronavirus emergency. The Senate and House this week tended to one thing only: approving additional funding for SCDHEC to combat the spread of the virus. The House & Senate are adjourned until called back by respective leadership.

Stay tuned. PCC is confident these bills will see the light of day when session returns – possibly during the 2021-2022 session. The PCC will continue to do our work behind the scenes and keep you informed of every opportunity to voice your support. We are working remotely and continue the important work of the coalition.

If you’re itching for action, work to pass a LOCAL resolution supporting the STATE Hands Free bill, S.723, similar to efforts in HHI, Bluffton, Charleston (pending), and Myrtle Beach (pending), and Columbia (pending), and email those to Senate Transportation committee Chair Larry Grooms.

Read: SCDOT update.

The SCDOT commission public meetings have stopped until further notice. But our work hasn’t stopped, and SCDOT is still conducting business. We continue working with SCDOT as they develop a Departmental Directive for Complete Streets, and we’ll keep you informed. Stay tuned. We succeeded in making HUGE improvements within SCDOT internal processes, over the last 2 years, as part of our SC Livable Communities Alliance campaign for a state complete streets policy.

Watch for a series of blogposts explaining those details. Then please the details widely – this will elevate our collective expectations with SCDOT, who has committed to a wonderful suite of new practices.

We’d love to hear how you and your families are using biking and walking to cope with these challenging days at home. Let us know.

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Amy Johnson Ely

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