CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council approved matching nearly half a million dollars Tuesday for the "ReThink Folly Road" project.
The proposal, first approved by the city's Ways and Means Committee, will match $400,000 already set aside by the Charleston Area Transportation Study Committee, also known as CHATS.
"This is a request to allocate funds so the city can participate in the construction of sidewalks and other facilities on intersections along Folly Road," Jacob Lindsey, the Planning Director for the City of Charleston, said earlier on Tuesday.
The money will come from the city's 2018 Hospital Fund.
The ReThink Folly Road plan includes building continuous sidewalks, protected bike paths, reconsidering the timing of traffic lights, plans to reduce speed limits, improve bus stops and much more.
Folly Road is a major thoroughfare leading onto James Island, connecting it with the West Ashley area of Charleston to the north and with the City of Folly Beach to the south.
In 2010, almost 19,000 residents lived on or within a half mile of the 7.87-mile segment of the road between Center Street on Folly Beach and the Wappoo Cut bridge. Average daily traffic volumes range from 44,000 across the Wappoo Cut bridge and approximately 9,300 across the causeway to Folly Beach.
In cases of emergency, Folly road also serves as the area's primary evacuation route.
According to the in-depth report done, Folly Road struggles with inefficient traffic operations, infrequent sidewalks, limited bike lanes, sparse landscaping, and inadequate infrastructure to support Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority's bus system. aging strip malls and auto-oriented commercial uses line the corridor. The roadway, including many of the properties that front it, does not convey James Island's unique sense of place. as expressed by hundreds of residents and area stakeholders.
As part of a meeting held in May 2015, Folly Road can better realize its role as James Island's "center," and as the hub of commercial activity. Critical concerns to be addressed include:
- Designing a "complete street" that balances the needs of all modes of travel
- Facilitating multimodal (walking, biking and transit) conversions along the corridor
- Integrating enhanced public transportation into future improvements
- Coordinating among various governmental bodies with regard to zoning and development standards
- Setting standards for new development along the corridor
Click here for a link to the full report.