Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coleman Boulevard: Last Chance to Get it Right?

Coleman Boulevard's present dangerous
 "Peek-a-Boo" Bike Lanes

There was a time a number of years ago when Coleman Boulevard was far more rural, and for many people in the Lowcountry, it was a route to the beach.
Today, it is a vital artery, critical to the lives of the people in the neighborhood it touches.
Now, with a plan to capture what's best about it and prepare it for service for decades to come, the Town has a plan.  Much time, money and creativity has been brought to bear on it.

Mount Pleasant's official web site tells it like it is: Much study of the Coleman Boulevard corridor has occurred over the past five years. A revitalization master plan developed in 2008 with significant public and business input has resulted in numerous zoning and development guideline revisions that encourages mixed-use developments within a “Main Street” setting. A major component of these previous efforts involves reconstructing Coleman Boulevard itself to create a landscaped median, on-street parking opportunities, increased travel opportunities for bicycles and pedestrians, and a vibrant activity zone between the roadway and buildings fronting the street. As such, the Town is currently performing this design upgrade on the one mile portion of Coleman Boulevard between approximately Shem Creek and the Chuck Dawley / Ben Sawyer Boulevard intersection. A major design element also includes a multi-lane roundabout at the Chuck Dawley / Ben Sawyer Boulevard intersection.
This overview gives only the most general sense of the plan.
You can click here to see the full report and plan. 

        Public Meeting Wed., May 9 at 6pm

A public information meeting will be conducted at the Town Hall Gym, 100 Ann Edwards lane, Mount Pleasant, SC on May 9, 2012 at 6 p.m. Staff and consultants will offer a presentation on the Revitalization of Coleman Boulevard. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for stakeholders and citizens to ask questions or voice their opinion on the project.
You can click here to see the entire plan from the Mount Pleasant official site.

What's Our Take on the Plan?
The  "Main Street" vision is excellent, but we think compromises will ruin it. The critical element is travel speed for cars.  Higher than 25mp? Safety of pedestrians and bicyclists (key to the "Main Street" vision) is threatened. On-street parking? it can be "calming" but inconsistencies about where it exists can bring danger.
We know that change can make people uncomfortable, but we think the vision is worthy as long as each design element in it fully supports it.  
Here is our official position paper.  Click on it to see if full screen or to download it.

Charleston Moves Coleman Position Paper- Final We urge Mount Pleasant residents to support the vision of a vastly calmed thoroughfare. But all design elements should combine to ensure that the vision is not lost in compromises. We think there should be a review of travel speeds, on-street parking, location of bicycle lanes and perhaps other key elements to make sure they are all designed to support the vision.

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