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First-of-its-kind pedestrian safety plan in works for downtown Charleston

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 2:37 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Big changes are planned for some areas in downtown Charleston to make it safer for people walking.

City councilman and CARTA chairman Mike Seekings said the goal is to put “pedestrian scrambles” at a few intersections along Calhoun Street.

“This will be the first of its kind in the region, in fact, there will be more than one,” he said.

Pedestrian scrambles include diagonal crosswalks so people can cross the intersection in every direction at the same time. All traffic stops so people can walk.

The goal of the scramble is to stop allowing cars and people to use the intersection at the same time. Right now, the plan is to put the scrambles along Calhoun Street at King Street and St. Philip Street which includes part of the College of Charleston campus.

“This is the type of safety precaution we should be taking,” Seekings said. “To make sure we separate pedestrians and traffic in a safe and efficient way and let everyone move. So, natural place to start is right on a college campus, right in downtown Charleston, right at King Street.”

The plan is part of the larger Lowcountry Rapid Transit project which would implement a rapid bus system from Summerville to downtown Charleston. It is expected to be complete by 2026 but Seekings hopes smaller project within that project, like the pedestrian scrambles, can be done sooner.

The project also includes upgrades to sloping and broken sidewalks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Staff with the Lowcountry Rapid Transit project want your feedback on this and its other plans. You can view an online, on-demand meeting and give input until May 26 by clicking this link.

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