Bike lane could be on life support

Bike lane could be on life support
September 21 18:47 2016 Print This Article

Charleston County Council voted to give the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) 60 days to determine whether the proposed bicycle lane from West Ashley to downtown is viable from a structural or traffic capacity standpoint. Council members Colleen Condon and Henry Darby dissented in a 7-2 vote.

Councilman Vic Rawle noted that additional concrete would need to be poured to elevate the bicycle lane, which would put strain on the gears of the aging drawbridge. Councilman Dickie Schweers commented that the road is controlled by the SCDOT and that the state agency could close the bicycle lane if it determines that it impedes the capacity of the road to accommodate existing vehicular traffic.

Charleston City Councilman Marvin Wagner, who represents Johns Island and West Ashley, stated that he heard from constituents during the trial lane closure period seven months ago that their commute times increased by up to 45 minutes. He expressed that City Council’s 7-6 vote to go forward with the bicycle lane was a mistake and called upon County Council to “save our bacon.”

During the public comment period of the County Council, there was opposition to the 0.5% sales tax increase referendum from all over the political spectrum. A common refrain was a lack of trust on whether the priority projects listed during the five public hearings on the referendum would be implemented. Councilman Darby had an interesting comment. He said, “I guess the public is right – you can’t trust Council.” Charleston County voters will decide on the proposed sales tax increase on the November 8 ballot.