Peninsula transportation projects seeking public input

Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 at 7:27 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry Rapid Transit, The Lowcountry Lowline, and Charleston Moves say they are hosting a webinar at to talk about plans to improve mobility on the Charleston Peninsula.

Leaders from the Tri-County say they are hosting a webinar at 11 a.m. Thursday to discuss a project for creating a modern bus rapid transit system that will run for 26 miles between Charleston, North Charleston and Summerville.

.(Live 5)

The Lowcountry Rapid Transit team says they are working with the Lowcountry Lowline park and pedestrian project to properly connect the two transportation projects.

Lowcountry Rapid Transit Project Lead Sharon Hollis says this project and the Lowcountry Lowline will compliment each other. She says both projects are intended to bring more transportation options to the peninsula.

“Without bike and pedestrian connectivity, transit would not be accessible and we would not have a successful system,” Hollis said. “So, that’s really what we’re trying to do along this corridor is make sure it’s safe for all users and really provide that connectivity.”

The Lowcountry Rapid Transit project plans include having two bus stations at Mount Pleasant Street and Huger Street. There are existing CARTA bus stops there.

Hollis says the goal is to work in the right-of-way for construction of the new bus stations. On the peninsula, she says the project team is looking at how they can improve traffic and work with traffic signal technology to keep buses on schedule.

.(Lowcountry Lowline)

Hollis says the proposed bus stations will look and operate very similar to a light-rail station, except that they will be for buses only. She says they plan to have the stations elevated, so the ground is level with bus. They also plan to have weather protection shelters, places to pay before boarding, real-time signage, and bike storage facilities.

Hollis says both bus stations will have direct connections to the Lowcountry Lowline trail.

The Lowcountry Lowline project says they plan to turn the Old Norfolk Southern railroad line into a paved trail for bikes and people walking or running. They say it will start at Mount Pleasant Street, go under and run beside I-26, and end at Marion Square.

People will be able to walk or bike along the Lowcountry Lowline in order to get to the bus stations that are part of the Lowcountry Rapid Transit System, officials say.

Lowcountry Lowline Community Outreach Coordinator Megan Mills says their goal is to give people more transportation options, while also providing more opportunities to enjoy the peninsula.

“We’re going to kind of compliment the bus rapid transit in that we’re going to make a great green space that people can use when you talk about multi-modal transportation,” Mills said.

Mills says they have a goal to start construction on the Lowcountry Lowline in 18 months.

Hollis says the LCRT has about three years still in its design process and construction is expected to start in late 2023. She says they hope to open in 2026.

Since both projects are still in the design phases, the project teams are encouraging public feedback now.

They hope Thursday’s webinar can be interactive and people will ask questions.

“The idea is to hear from people that are attending it as how do they want to connect, by foot or by bike, to our station areas and how do they want to see that interaction with the lowline in terms of those locations and those facilities,” Hollis said.

The organizations have provided a zoom link to register their 11 a.m. meeting or viewers can watch the webinar live on Lowcountry Lowline’s Facebook page.

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