West Ashley transportation on the agenda Wednesday

West Ashley transportation on the agenda Wednesday
August 07 07:04 2018 Print This Article

The West Ashley Revitalization Commission (WARC) will discuss transportation issues at its August meeting Wednesday at 5:30 pm at the Town and Country Inn, 2008 Savannah Highway. The transportation section in the West Ashley Master Plan¬†focuses on bicycle and pedestrian paths and mass transportation as alternatives to vehicular travel. The master plan, which is not currently available on the City of Charleston website, does call for the completion of I-526 and addresses road upgrades scheduled to be funded by the 1% Charleston County transportation sales tax. Local government transportation officials will participate in a working group and a WARC member will report on the group’s findings.

The Charleston Parks Conservancy will provide and update at the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway study it is financing. The non-profit has secured a federal grant for upgrades on the 11 miles of off-road bicycle and pedestrian paths. The public participated in a two-day planning workshop on the matter in June.

The mass transportation plans for West Ashley are unclear. The transportation sales tax is projected to fund an 18-stop Bus Rapid Transit route from Summerville to downtown Charleston which does not stop in West Ashley. The West Ashley Master Plan recommends a shuttle bus service, which would loop around West Ashley’s major thoroughfares but does not address how to accommodate the 84% of West Ashley commuters who go outside of the area each day. Aside from a high-volume route going from Citadel Mall to MUSC several times a day, bus ridership in West Ashley is low. A concept which has flourished in other areas is micro-transit, which provides on-demand, private sector transportation options.

Working groups will also discuss the housing and land use components of the West Ashley Master Plan. The plan calls for high-density apartment complexes throughout Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, St. Andrews Boulevard and the portion of Savannah Highway which currently is covered with car dealerships. A public comment period will be held immediately after the working group presentations are made.