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About Hilton Head Island, S.C. • A resort and retirement community with approximately 38,000 year-round residents and 2,300,000 annual visitors. • Approximately 100 miles of (multi-use) pathways and 20,000 rental bikes. • Became a Bicycle Friendly Community in May 2011 at the Silver level. • Town government formed a Bicycle Advisory Committee in connection with its BFC designation. • Advisory Committee organized an Ambassador program early this year to enhance its status as a BFC. • See www.hiltonheadisland.org/biking.
Other ambassador programs • Chicago: Bicycle safety and education specialists have since 2001 been seeking to increase the number of trips made by bicycle, reduce the number of bicycle-related injuries, and to help bike riders, motorists, and pedestrians better share roads and off-street trails. An extensive program funded by the Departments of Transportation of the City and State. • Philadelphia: Ambassadors attend community events as well as create their own to teach bike safety, sharing the road, bike lane and bike path etiquette and how to bike to work and school. The program is led by 4 full-timers. • Minneapolis: 4 full-time staff promote courtesy, acceptance, and safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. • Seattle: They provide information kits with a bicycle map, safety information, and a calendar of community programming. They also lead neighborhood clinics and participate in special events such as low-cost helmet sales.
Hilton Head’s Approach • Promote a welcoming environment and a safe experience, primarily oriented to visitors. • Provide directions, maps, safety tips, limited first aid, and mechanical assistance as needed. • Equipment • Neon yellow vests • Maps • Flyers with safety tips. • First aid supplies • Key phone numbers: bike shops, emergencies,non-emergencies, Town Maintenance for bike path problems.
Training • All volunteers were required to participate in a 2-hour training session, held at the local Sheriff’s Office to add authenticity. • The principal topic was bicycle safety, presented by a League Certified Instructor. • The next was on the duties of the volunteer Ambassadors and how they approach cyclists. • The balance was on First Aid, including CPR.
Focus • Summer visitor season, June to mid-August. For our first year, on Sundays in 2-hour shifts from 9 am to 1 pm at 3 designated areas. (Saturday is tourist arrival/departure day.) • Large Spectator Events, such as PGA golf tournament at famed HarbourTown Golf Course in April. • Volunteers’ choice: whenever and wherever they are out riding, they can wear their vests and carry their supplies.
funding Funding by Sponsors – Currently, No Funds of Our Own • Vests were donated by a local company with national sales – Transportation Safety Apparel. • First aid kits and instructions were provided by the Town Division of Fire & Rescue • Flyers and meeting space were offered by the County Sheriff’s Office. • Liability insurance premiums were paid by volunteer leadership.
Thank you. Thank you.