Stop Stalling -- Bridge the Ashley
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There is only one (relatively) safe and efficient method for crossing the Ashley River: motor vehicle. As congestion and costs increase, we must have safe options for several modes of transit.
A safe Ashley River crossing for people on bikes and foot has been debated in our community since the 1920s. Real study began in 2010, with examination of a stand-alone bridge, a cantilevered bridge, and conversion of the fourth lane for bicycles and pedestrians on the east-bound bridge (the Legare Bridge). The community has consistently supported each proposal. The most recent proposal of a stand-alone bridge has been met with the most support. Feedback for decades has been urgent — citizens, business owners, and tourists alike want to travel safely between the peninsula and West Ashley without having to rely solely on motor vehicles. Job and housing security, as well as public safety, depends upon it.
The opportunity to build a separate bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Ashley River, finally completing a vital segment between the major employment centers, the highest residential centers, and unique greenspace is not only incredibly exciting, but also vital to protecting vulnerable users of our roadways.
Two other bridges exist across the Ashley River: the James Island Connector and the North Bridge. Neither of these connections are safe for people on bike and foot, but they must be. The North Bridge could connect people by bike and foot between North Charleston and West Ashley, and the James Island Connector could connect people by bike between James Island and the peninsula.
We are urging the City of Charleston and Charleston County to work together, using transportation sales tax funding, to:
1.) construct a bicycle and pedestrian bridge immediately south of the existing Legare Bridge, using studies already compiled for the recent federal funding grant application;
2.) install simple retrofits to the James Island Connector to make the route safe for people on bikes (SCDOT has stated they will not allow pedestrians on the Connector). These retrofits could include lowering and enforcing the speed limit, installing rumble strips to delineate the breakdown lane, and installing signage to direct people on bikes from avoiding conflicts with motorists at exit ramps;
3.) complete an engineering study to determine the most effective way to retrofit the North Bridge for people on bike and foot.
Please help us by signing our petition. If you buy products in Charleston County, then you are contributing to the sales tax and should have a say on how this money is spent! Transportation projects for people are vital.
Stop Stalling--Bridge the Ashley in all three locations!
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