How much are you willing to spend on bicycle paths?

How much are you willing to spend on bicycle paths?
December 28 13:39 2017 Print This Article

It was recently announced that $16 Million will be spent on a 4.4 mile Folly Road bicycle path as part of the Rethink Folly Road plan, designed by consulting firm Dover Kohl. Most of the funding is coming from federal money under the management of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG). BCDCOG recently completed a plan calling for more than 1450 miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths. If the construction of those paths costs as much as the Folly Road plan, completion costs would exceed $4 Billion.

The BCDCOG plan was designed by Alta Planning, a bicycle and pedestrian path consulting firm.  The same firm subcontracted with Dover Kohl in the development of the West Ashley Master Plan.  The plan included a survey showing that 4.7% of Charleston County workers use walking and bicycling for transportation.  It characterizes bicycle paths as an economic development tool, and includes in its project list “a campaign for humanizing people who walk and bike.”

The West Ashley Master Plan calls for hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths, although it does not include a price tag for them.  The document was recently endorsed unanimously by the 18 members of the West Ashley Revitalization Commission (WARC), a combination of elected officials and community leaders.  The WARC will review the master plan with the City of Charleston Planning Commission Wednesday, January 10 at 5:30 pm at The Schoolhouse, 720 Magnolia Road.  The Planning Commission will take up the plan at its January 17 meeting.

While I applaud those who live a healthy lifestyle, I do not believe bicycle and pedestrian travel will ever become a commonly-used form of transportation in our suburban community.  I don’t see the merit in spending billions for pathways which will only be used by a few.  There are too many needs which would better serve our population, particularly fixing our failed drainage system.