Fatal bike accident prompts City of Charleston to take action

CHARLESTON, SC - The fatal accident that happened on the James Island Connector on Tuesday has raised a lot of concerns about the safety of Charleston's highways. South Carolina leads the nation in most bike fatalities per year.

"It's an absolute priority that we make our streets safe for pedestrians and cyclists," Mayor Joe Riley said.

Before Tuesday's accident, the mayor already had plans drawn up for a new project that would make one lane of the Ashley River bridges a bike and pedestrian lane.

"Charleston County Council has been very supportive of this project. Currently they're backing a study to determine if the project is feasible," Riley said.

The study should be completed by the end of this week of early next week according to Riley.  It will determine how much the project would cost. If it is feasible, the city would work with the state and federal departments of transportation to pay for the project.

Riley said he believes this project would give cyclists a safer option to traveling to James Island instead of the connector.

"More infrastructure for bikes is what makes things safer," said Peter Wilborn, an attorney who represents cyclists.

Wilborn is an avid cyclist and advocate for safer roadways. He says South Carolina trails the nation in funding for bike infrastructure.

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