City of Charleston hopes public input can build better transportation plan

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The city of Charleston hosted a public input session where people had the opportunity to share suggestions on how to improve roads and traffic Wednesday.

The city-wide transportation plan is in partnership with the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments making the projects eligible for federal and state funding assistance.

Wink Banker and her husband Paul attended the input session.

"You see all these people driving and there's just not enough room when there's street parking and bikes and driving at the same time," Wink Banker, who attended the input session said.

They have four kids that often walk to school.

"Need some more traffic lights where we're at, little safer way for them to get around," Banker's husband Paul said.

The input session was an opportunity for residents to share what improvements they would like to see so the city can prioritize and create design plans for 13 transportation projects.

."People would make a mode choice if they knew it was safe, if they  knew it was connected if they knew it was reliable," Director of Traffic and Transportation for the City of Charleston Keith Benjamin said. "It's on us as a  city in partnership with the county and the state to identify what those priorities are."

"We've never since the 1920s or 1930s had a mass public transit project," Council member and CARTA Chairman Mike Seekings said. "These are the things that we are going to be talking about and work on and it's time."

Consultants conducted surveys asking questions about people's individual transportation choices, issues, ranking of importance of certain projects and more.

"If they truly incorporate this input that is being provided into the plan for Charleston transportation, I think we have a bright future regarding transportation," Kim Greene said.

Some people say this a step in the right direction.

"They're doing a good job. I think they definitely will come up with solutions," Paul Banker said. 

City officials say they have not determined what the 13 prioritized projects will be. They want their planning process to be resident driven.They are expecting to have the city-wide transportation plan completed by May of next year.

There will be another input session open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Harbor Entrepreneur Center located at 1505 King Street on Thursday, Oct. 26.

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