Hon. H. B. Limehouse, Jr.
Secretary, South Carolina Dept. of Transportation
P.O. Box 191
Columbia, SC 29202-0191
Dear Mr. Limehouse: April 7, 2010
In five short days last week, our organization collected the signatures of 1,980 people asking that bicycle lanes be incorporated on newly-resurfaced portions of Maybank Highway on James Island, the City of Charleston. As you know, Mayor Riley has added his voice to this request.
Like many governmental units and agencies throughout our state and nation, your department publicly committed (February 2003) to “affirming that bicycling and walking accommodations should be a routine part of the Department’s planning, design, construction and operating activities, that they would be included in the everyday operations of its transportation system.”
For SCDOT, the resurfacing of Maybank Highway may be considered merely a routine maintenance operation with the simple goal of restoring the road. But for the people of Charleston it is much more: an opportunity to (in the words of the resolution adopted by SCDOT Commissioners) “affirm that bicycling and walking accommodations…be included in everyday operations.” For a host of reasons, there could be no better place to show that the Commissioners meant business when they adopted that resolution in 2003.
The nature of Maybank Highway has evolved in recent years. Many of the neighborhoods it connects have become far more densely populated, Smaller commercial clusters have become vibrant centers. Much more growth is projected. For all the almost self-evident reasons (need for physical activity, combating pollution, enabling short trips other than by auto, community vibrancy) we ask you to intervene.
At this point in the resurfacing project, it is a simple matter to re-jigger lane widths, before striping is done. We have enclosed schematics showing two simple alternatives, both supported in the MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices).
Your intervention would be an affirmative illustration of a new, genuinely more progressive tone in the State of South Carolina. Failure to do so would be to perpetuate the same tired approaches that have made the state one of the least bicycle and pedestrian-friendly states in the nation.
Tom Bradford, Acting Director