PLEASE KEEP COOL FOR NOW.....
Charleston Moves convened a meeting of 30 community leaders yesterday (Friday) to discuss what can be done about the threatened ban on cyclists on the James Island Connector.
First of all, (in the midst of much anger and misinformation) the meeting was a forum for reliable information.
Secondly, it produced the outlines of a responsible, non-confrontational, positive plan of action that we feel has a chance to produce a safe route for cyclists and good results for our entire community.
There is no shortage of passion in the cycling community about this issue, some of it based upon the mistaken belief that individual public officials and politicians have ordered the ban, even that some of them “have it in” for cyclists. We have not seen this. While it may be true that certain individual officials may not care about cyclists, it is untrue that this turn of events is due to outright hostility for them.
The facts are as follows: The prospect of a ban reared its head a few months ago, and since then we have been in frequent contact with Mayor Riley and other Charleston officials. And despite frequent reports to the contrary, the ban has not yet been imposed. We have very little reliable information about when it will be imposed, and if it will be strenuously enforced if it is imposed.
The law banning cyclists and other non-motorized vehicles from “limited access roads” in South Carolina has long been in effect. In full knowledge of this, however, Charleston officials, have recognized that there was no safer way for cyclists to cross between the Peninsula and James Island and have turned a blind eye to that law ever since the Connector was built. For this, the cycling community can be grateful.
We know that in other states, exceptions are made for cyclists on individual freeways where no other routes for cyclists exist. There are no such exceptions allowed for in South Carolina law, and our crisis was perhaps inevitable because of that fact.
To repeat: we have not found any official who "has it in" for cyclists. We have found bureaucrats "just doing their jobs," perhaps prompted by media inquiries.
What’s next? We are pursuing further conversations with our officials. And we will present a solid plan to route cyclists across the Ashley, both to West Ashley and to James Island. This proposal will be presented to a wide array of public officials within the coming few days, and details will be publicized at that time. We hope for good results.
Charleston Moves bottom-line reason for existence is to work for safe bicycling – a place on our streets and roads alongside other modes of transportation. That means safe connectivity across all our rivers and creeks. It also means vibrant, healthy and physically active neighborhoods. Please help support us in our work. Please click here.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
PLEASE KEEP COOL FOR NOW.....
Posted by Tom Bradford at 3:17 PM