Continue to email the City Council, Mayor Tecklenburg, and CofC's President Hsu asking for support for a bike lane on King Street. We now know of a few King Street businesses that have come out against the King Street bike lane, and the City Council is failing to recognize citizens as stakeholders in this issue. Let us be clear. Everyone is a stakeholder when it comes to the safety and accessibility of our shared public spaces. That is why we have teamed up with Charleston Moves to launch as Stakeholder Campaign.
The original proposal by the South Carolina Department of Transportation would provide ~54% of space to cars, and ~46% to everyone else (versus the current situation, with ~73% of the space dedicated to cars). This is an exceptionally reasonable compromise, and a tempered next step toward making King safe and functional.
Please email Mayor Tecklenburg, City Council, and President Hsu to let them know you support a buffered bike lane on King Street as originally proposed by SCDOT. It's simple: just tell them that "I strongly support the buffered bike lane on King Street as proposed by SCDOT." and CC us in your email. Here are the emails:
Here's some background on the issue so far:
CCC has attained copies of two letters, written by the board of College of Charleston and signed by President Hsu, that explain that they are opposed to the King Street Bike lane, despite the fact that it would provide safer alternative transporation for students who commute to and from campus via King Street. These letters were not shared with the CofC student body, faculty or staff, and had to be attained via FOIA (Freedom of Information Act).
Here's a quick review of how we've gotten to this point:
2019-2021 » The improvement concepts were developed by the state after conducting Road Safety Audits along the corridors, because they are four of the ten most dangerous for people on bikes and foot in South Carolina.
2022 » SCDOT hosted a public meeting and comment period that generated overwhelming support for the agency's proposed improvements. Written opposition was received after the comment period, and a private meeting occurred with objections to the King Street design.
2023 » In March, the Project Agreement vote was deferred by the City's Traffic & Transportation Committee. No discussion took place. In June the vote was once again deferred. Updated plans have still not been released to the public, and there has been concern that that many of the discussions are going on behind closed doors and that the King Street Bike lane has already been struck from the plan, which is a step backward from the original plans proposed by SCDOT.
We are re-sharing petition signatures with both the City and SCDOT. Providing safe space for all modes of travel is vital and dire, for the safety and enjoyment of residents, workers and visitors. This is particularly important for King Street, which at last count hosted 50,000 daily visits on foot (compared to the 2022 annual average daily counts of motor vehicles at 12,300). It's abundantly clear that the economic engine of King Street is running off people-power.