Mass transit bus and rail part of I-26 transportation study

Mass transit bus and rail part of I-26 transportation study
Billboard near Ashley Phosphate Road
Billboard near Ashley Phosphate Road

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As the Tri-County area grows, traffic gets worse along I-26.

"It's always a nightmare," said Elliott Summey, vice chairman of the Charleston County Council.

Summey says we're running out of time and space.

"1,300 people a month are moving to Charleston, Berkeley or Dorchester Counties," said Summey.

Right now members of the Tri-County Council of Governments are leading a study on how to relieve traffic between Summerville and downtown Charleston.

Summey said, "We're looking at different modes of transportation, whether it be bus rapid transit, light rail."

Summey says the CARTA bus system is a good start, but it could be better.

"The problem with our bus system now it that when there's a wreck on the interstate or a wreck on Rivers Avenue, the bus sits in traffic and there's no incentive for anyone to get on it," said Summey.

Summey says bus-only lanes along secondary roads like Rivers Avenue could work.

He says their vision is not a dream, and the effort to give you more options besides sitting in traffic is very real.

The alternative transportation study is expected to be ready before the end of next year.

Fix I-26 First campaign

You can see a billboard near Ashley Phosphate reading "50 thousand cars coming soon" to the interstate.

The Fix 26 First campaign going on right now is sponsored by the Coastal Conservation League.

The group is challenging law makers to rethink ways to ease traffic congestion in the Tri-County area.

The conservation league is the environmental group you often times hear speaking against extending I-526 into Johns and James Islands.

The billboards are part of their push to draw funding from the extension project, which still needs more approval.

They say money for the extension should instead go to funding road improvements along I-26. According to the conservation league, the interstate is being neglected by lawmakers.

Summey says much of I-26 between Summerville and Charleston is as wide as it will go. The vice chairman says it's crucial they find other modes of transportation for commuters in the area.

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