The Post and Courier is using bullying tactics to try to dissuade Charleston County Council members from defunding the unpopular Charleston City Council plan to use county transportation sales tax funds to close a lane of vehicular traffic on the Ashley River bridge and replace it with a bicycle lane.
The Charleston daily newspaper editorial contends that the “voice of the people” favors the bike lane project. There is no scientific survey which indicates that a majority of Charleston County voters wants to fund the project. A vocal minority has advocated for the bike lane from the beginning.
A Lowcountry Source story about the Charleston City Council allowing a telephone vote by City Councilman Rodney Williams in a 7-6 vote supporting the bike lane has led to media coverage on the vote by local talk radio and the Post and Courier. The newspaper contends that the telephone vote was legal, even though the City Council Rules and Procedures ordinance does not allow for telephone votes.
Another issue which hasn’t been reported in the Charleston media is that the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), in a 2014 Memorandum of Agreement with Charleston County and the City of Charleston, reserves the right to eliminate the bicycle lane if it determines that traffic on the road becomes too heavy. That is almost a certainty.
Why is a decision like this being made without polling showing that a majority of Charleston County voters favor shutting down a lane of traffic in favor of a bicycle lane?
Charleston County Council has the opportunity to defund this foolish project at its Thursday, Sept. 1 Finance Committee meeting. It needs to consider the interests of the majority of commuters and taxpayers and defund this waste of money.