Strong opinions follow Ashley River bike lane decision

Strong opinions follow Ashley River bike lane decision

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The decision from Charleston City Council Tuesday to move forward with the bike and pedestrian over the Ashley River has brought no shortage of opinions.

"I was like thank goodness!" Manager of Trek Bicycle Shop Dan Kelley said.

Others are frustrated.

"We've got to have something better than taking away a lane of traffic when all that is happening at this moment is more and more traffic," David Ingle said.

Ingle said the fight isn't over, encouraging people to take their concerns to Charleston County Council.

The County anticipates a letter from Mayor Tecklenburg detailing the City's position to move forward with the project.

Once the letter is received, the project will be put on the County Council agenda in August for funding approval.

Ingle hopes people show up in August to voice their opposition.

"We're going to go," Ingle said. "We're going to go talk to them, ask them not to fund it, to put it back on the drawing board. Let's take our money and our efforts to Columbia."

Others were taking to social media and email to continue the fight.

Johns Island Community Association sent a letter urging people to call Mayor John Tecklenburg and "jam his phone lines like he's jamming our roads."

But many cyclists feel the lane creation is long overdue and once it's complete, people's minds might start changing.

"Not having cars whizzing by within inches is going to be fantastic," Kelley said. "People who found it unsafe before are going to consider going to a ballgame from West Ashley or going to Earth Fare."

Kelley knows bicycle commuting well.

"I was car-free by choice for years and was taking public transportation and biking to get around town," Kelley said.

Kelley said he wishes the Lowcountry had the bike lane during that time in his life, but still appreciates the decision for the lane now.

He feels it will create a link the Lowcountry needs.

"Thank you!" Kelley said.

Others say, not so fast.

"I'm hoping we can resolve or find another way to get everybody across safely and make everybody happy," Ingle said.

Under the agreement between the city of Charleston, Charleston county and SCDOT, if traffic volumes show the path should be removed at anytime, SCDOT can make that call and take the lane back for vehicle use.

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