'Fantasy' map brings new perspective to Charleston transportation

VIDEO: "Fantasy" map brings new perspective to Charleston transportation

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A North Charleston transportation planner has dreamed up a way to avoid sitting in traffic around the Lowcountry.

Ben Cotton created a "fantasy rapid transit map" for commuters to get around the Greater Charleston area.

His map has made it to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

"It was a fun exercise for me," Cotton said. "I was trying to get people to think differently about transportation."

A U.S. Transportation Survey shows Americans sit in traffic for up to 40 hours each year.

Cotton said the fantasy map is a way to look at different methods including subways, light rail, ferry and more.

"I love it because you can really travel to a lot of places," said Abbigail Curtis, a Freshman at the College of Charleston.

Curtis is one of many freshmen who don't have a car and look at different methods of transportation.

Looking at the fantasy map, she said she could see something like this happening in Charleston, but it shouldn't be a rail system.

"Considering the preservation of the city, and the whole entire aspect of how Charleston is local, how clean it is, I think if we started getting more transportation, it would sort of dirty up the streets," Curtis said.

A couple visiting Charleston from Indiana disagrees.

They said they've been limited in exploring other parts of the city, including seeing the holiday lights on James Island.

"Some form of metro or something would be great because it would be nice to get on and it take you there," Lisa Turner said.

"Transportation is necessary," said James Mulhern, of downtown Charleston. "Maybe with the idea of mass-transit and subways is possible."

While there are differences in opinion, many of the locals do have concerns about the reliability and conservation of future methods.

"I would really like for it to be environmentally friendly," said Abby Warman, another Freshman at the College of Charleston.

"I'm looking for a job right now, so to have a transportation method which would be super reliable [would be good]," said Holly Bishop, another Freshman. "[One where] I could actually say, 'yes, I can actually make it to work on time even if I can't walk to it'."

Officials in the City of Charleston Transportation Department declined to comment on the "fantasy map" but suggested reaching out to the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments Transportation Department.

Emails and phone calls to the BCD-COG were not immediately returned.

In April the BCD-COG sought input in a short and long term plan to help ease congestion along I-26 between Charleston and Summerville.

One of the long-term goals was light rail, commuter rail or rapid bus transit.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.