Public input needed for planning future of traffic in Lowcountry

Lowcountry leaders are planning to cut down on traffic troubles in the future, and want everyone living in the Lowcountry to give input.

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - If the growth pace stays the same, the Charleston metropolitan area will have 1.1 million people by 2040, according to the Chamber of Commerce and the council of governments is trying to keep up with the congestion.

The Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester council of governments are looking at ways to use federal funds to make your commute more efficient as they get ideas for the 2040 Long-Range Transportation Plan.
Monday evening was the first of three public input sessions where the community is encouraged to talk about what projects they would like to see improved.
All of the input collected will decide what projects will be of high priority over the next 25 years.

"This process identifies the projects we need in the next five years and we do though a system of prioritizing them and put a ranking in the plan and that ranking to determine what goes in the funding program," Kathryn Basha, planning director for BCDCOG said.

The money is allocated by CHATS, the Charleston Area Transportation Study, and a part of the BCDCOG.

"CHATs  is the metropolitan planning organization that receives the federal funding for highways and transit and transportation improvements and the council of governments administers the chats improvements," Basha said.

Everyone living in the area is encouraged to share input on how transportation can be improved.
This includes everything from highways, roads, bridges, bicycle and pedestrian routes, and transit facilities.
At Monday evening's first input session, those in attendance voted public transit and pedestrian and cycling transportation was the most important to them.
For drivers not in attendance, one driver said an improved and modernized transit system would be the  beneficial.

"Highways on top of each other would help a great deal but of course mass transit would be a huge help, they just need to get to their job and back home", Kim Parret said, "It seems that if we have so much traffic from Summerville to downtown could there not be a tram system, a rail system between the two."

There will be two more public input sessions.

-Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Summerville South Carolina Research Association in the Nexton development.

-Wednesday afternoon from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Goodwill Industry's Board Room in North Charleston off of Rivers Avenue.

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