Monday, September 16, 2013

Shifting Gears: Hilton Head Embraces Bicycles

By Joanna Nadeau
Audubon International

Summer is the perfect time to get away from it all, and for many vacationers that means getting away from traffic jams and smog, in particular. So, it's no surprise that an oceanfront resort town would make traffic reduction a major priority.
At its summer peak, Hilton Head Island, S.C., draws 50,000 vehicles a day to its normally quiet, green streets. So, the town has been constructing and promoting bike paths as a way to minimize the air pollution and congestion caused by the sharp increase in summertime traffic. With 60 miles of public bike paths and a total of 108 miles of multiple-use trails on the island, most of Hilton Head’s major sights and activity centers are now accessible by bike – whether you prefer beach cruiser, road bike, or hybrid. Biking has caught on in this beach community, and with 20,000 bikes available to rent from local outfitters, both residents and visitors alike are finding it more convenient to get around the island on two wheels rather than four. (read more)