Local cyclist (and Charleston Moves Founder) Don Sparks had cycled over the Cooper River Bridge to go into Mt Pleasant for lunch earlier today. On his way back he was dismayed to see the bike/ped lane was closed. The sign said the lane would be closed from 1-4pm today thru Saturday. Not discouraged, he rode under the bridge, came up around to the US17 South approach and happily cycled up. "The view on that side is spectacular", Sparks remarked, "athough it was a l little hairy given the number of fast, big trucks zooming by, and the very low rail." A little over half way up a Mt Pleasant police cruiser pulled him over, soon to be joined by two other patrol cars. The officer told Sparks that he was not allowed on the bridge, that is what the bike lane is for. Sparks politely replied that the lane is closed until 4pm, (it was 1.30 at the time), and how was he supposed tp cross? "You're not", the officer replied, "I'm taking you over in the car" (photo 1). As the officer packed up the bike, Sparks asked him if he knew why the bike lane was closed. The officer replied, "Because the Blue Angles are practicing." Oh. Its a long story, but photo 2 shows the view from the lock up seat, pretty sweet. The officer let Sparks go on the Charleston side of the bridge (photo 3) with a friendly warning. Lesson to us all: Don't go across bridges by bicycle when the Blue Angles are practicing! We're serious!
Senate Bill 1375, to allow Charleston to declare an exception to the freeway bike ban for the James Island Connector, is in the home stretch toward final approval. It has made it through two Senate committees and the full Senate, and now is in the House Transportation and Education Committee. We are optimistic that it will clear the full House before the end of May.