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If you bike 

Tips for bicycling into the St. Patrick’s Day celebration

DON’T forget about the option to just ride your bikes into town! It’s so easy that a lot of people forget to think about it.

While Savannah’s bicycling infrastructure is in many ways not as complete or as friendly as it could be, there are some key bike routes.

Combine that with our flat topography and you have a viable option that gives you dependable car-free transportation for the St. Patrick’s Day festival.

click to enlarge st_pat_2017_by_john_alexander-1w6a1319.jpg

The main bike routes north into downtown are on Lincoln Street (northbound traffic only) and Habersham Street.

Lincoln Street is a heavily trafficked route on Parade Day morning, so keep your head on a swivel.

Note: The Lincoln Street bike lane is unusual in that the lane is on the left side of this one-way, northbound road.

If you haven’t used the Lincoln Street bike lane lately, you’ll see that it is now green. No, it’s not just for St. Patrick’s Day. The green color has been applied over the last month to add safety benefits (Learn more here: https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/bikeway-signing-marking/colored-bike-facilities/)

The main bike route south out of downtown is on Price Street (southbound traffic only). This is a more standard bike lane than Lincoln Street, but you should still keep aware.

Last year, immediately after the parade ended, drivers crowded into the bike lane in an attempt to get out of the Historic District as quickly as possible. We recommend lingering downtown a bit to allow these impatient and potentially dangerous drivers to clear out of our city.

Washington Avenue is a well-designed east/west corridor to use to get to the aforementioned north/south routes.

It can be difficult to walk a bicycle through throngs of revelers, so consider locking your bike to a bike rack just outside the main party zones. For instance, if you plan to watch the parade from Calhoun Square, consider locking your bike to the rack near the United Way building on Monterey Square.

Our good friends at Bike Walk Savannah also offer this sage advice:

“If you are planning to ride your bike on the big day, make sure to bring lights, in case you stay out later than you thought you would, and your lock to protect your bike from mischief. And, of course, wear a helmet and stay alert for impaired, distracted and aggressive drivers.”

Don’t have lights? Get a free set from Bike Walk Savannah, along with a free bicycle safety check on Thursday, March 14, 7-9:30 p.m. at 1301 Lincoln St.

If you bike has been hibernating all winter, bring it down for tire inflation, chain lubrication, brake check, and other adjustments. That way you’ll know your bike is good to go (and good to get you back home).

For more, email  bikes@bikewalksavannah.org

cs
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