Plan would have drivers park cars, take bus or train to ease I-26 gridlock

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Frustrated drivers who sit in traffic on I-26 may soon have an alternative to escape the gridlock.

The Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments is pushing a plan that would allow people to park their cars and instead ride buses or trains between Summerville and downtown Charleston.

The buses and trains would have their own dedicated lanes on roads away from the interstate.

"I think people are willing to do that if they're gonna get there more quickly and that it's a more effective use of their time," the council's Kathryn Basha said.

People who attended an I-26 alternative workshop in Summerville like the idea.

"I think we need to broaden our minds and look at other opportunities rather than just putting more lanes on I-26 because all we're doing is filling up those lanes," Mike Epps said.

Basha says the council of governments is hoping support for the alternative is widespread.

"We've been doing a lot of surveys. We worked through a lot of major employers in the corridor and then surveys of their employees to find out how willing they are to use it."

Basha says the alternative could become a reality in the next to five to ten years if the funding comes through.

She hopes most of the money will come from the federal government.

There will be two more meetings on the I-26 alternative next week.

One will be held Monday at the Charleston Museum and the other Tuesday at North Charleston City Hall.

Both will run from six till eight pm.