West Ashley commission seeks traffic solutions

June 14 21:39 2017 Print This Article

A standing room only crowd of about 250 met at the monthly West Ashley Revitalization Commission meeting Wednesday at the Old Schoolhouse, a newly renovated office complex on Magnolia Rd. Traffic improvements was a central issue for the commissioners.

Commissioner Morris Ellison cited the statistic provided by consulting group Dover Kohl that 84% of West Ashley residents commute outside of the area each day. He said, “We have no data on where the 84% are going and at what times.” He cited a study in the Jacksonville, Florida area which gave mass transit officials the data needed to meet the needs of commuters.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council on Governments is working on a similar study. Charleston City Councilman John Lewis noted that there are phone apps available to give commuters bus route schedules and inform them if buses are running on time. Charleston County School Board member Michael Miller said that improved mass transit systems for charter schools and magnet schools could relieve traffic in West Ashley.

Mandi Herring, the West Ashley planning director for City of Charleston, recapped the planning sessions conducted by Dover Kohl in April and May. She said 560 residents participated in the four citizen input sessions throughout the area and that more than 600 participated in the open studio workshops held at Citadel Mall May 8-13. Find the Plan West Ashley Work in Progress summary at http://PlanWestAshley.com.

Participants in the planning sessions commented that their current one-word descriptions for West Ashley were Congested and Traffic. The most common one-word descriptions for the future of West Ashley were Connected, Vibrant, and Community.

Charleston County Councilman Brantley Moody commented on a controversial presentation by a transportation consultant Work in Progress summary at Citadel Mall. Surveys showed that more than 95% of participants used cars as their primary form of transportation, and the consultant suggested that area residents need to reduce their reliance on cars. Moody remarked, “Get out of your cars is not a (transportation) solution.”

The remaining 2017 West Ashley Revitalization Commission meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Old Schoolhouse, 720 Magnolia Rd. A draft of the West Ashley Master Plan is expected in August or September.