Charleston looks to improve street safety by building bike and pedestrian bridges
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston is looking to improve safety on its streets, and one of the ways they plan to reach that goal is building bicycle and pedestrian bridges to help people get around.
City officials said their goal is to provide connectivity to the people of Charleston and have them be safe while walking or riding their bikes throughout the city.
“We want to make sure that anything we provide to the public is safe and accessible and convenient for the citizens,” Charleston Director of Parks and Capital Projects Jason Kronsberg said.
The city’s goal of making the streets safer in 2022 was outlined in Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg’s State of the City address.
Tecklenburg predicts the Ashley River Bike and Pedestrian Bridge will go up for bidding by the end of this year, connecting West Ashley to the peninsula.
“It’s all about providing that connectivity,” Kronsberg said.
Another project focuses on Daniel Island, in which Kronsberg is overseeing a plan to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Nowell Creek.
“Just provides better connectivity for everybody, trying to provide more emphasis on the bike and pedestrian point of view, lessening the need for the automobile in these small, little neighborhood type commutes,” Kronsberg said.
A City of Charleston spokesperson said in a statement:
“The city is working closely with our federal, state and local partners to provide and safe efficient bike-ped options throughout the region including the Ashley River Crossing, the Beresford Creek Bridge and the Low Line. Initiatives such as these will continue to play a large and growing role in our overall transportation strategy in the years ahead.”
Katie Zimmerman, the executive director of Charleston Moves, an organization that advocates for safe walking, biking and public transit, said the community has told her they would like to get around the area without having to drive their cars.
“If you give me a safe place to walk or bike, or a safe way to get to a bus stop, I will choose those modes for certain trips,” Zimmerman said. “I think the city is hearing that and needs to continue hearing that.”
A public input meeting for the Nowell Creek bridge will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. at Providence Church on Daniel Island.
Officials said the bridge is scheduled to be completed in 2023, with construction starting in the summer.
Meanwhile, the public comment period for the Better North Bridge project, which looks to connect pedestrians from West Ashley to North Charleston, will run through March 3.
Click here for more information regarding that project and how to get involved.
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