Students help officials plan beach to beach bike route

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Project planners say they tested over 60 miles of roadways in order to establish the 32-mile bike route that will get cyclists from Isle of Palms to Folly Beach by going through downtown.

John Tousignant, a Citadel graduate, says he participated in a class engineering project at The Citadel to help create the beach-to-beach route.

"I know how dangerous it can be for people to actually see how close cars can get to you," said Tousignant, an avid cyclist who rides his bike everyday.

Tousignant, along with other students, came up with the construction plans and costs estimate. He says while many of the roads already have bike lanes, they can still be dangerous.

"Even with the bike paths, cars get too close to that pathway," Tousignant explained.

And while much of the route will remain untouched, some roadways failed their safety tests.

"That is one of the big issues when you get to the Ashley River bridge, Wappoo Creek bridge, James Island bridge, Folly bridge," says Dr. William Davis, a project planner. "What do you do when you get to those expensive places to make them safer?"

And the money it will take to prepare such locations could add up. Initial cost estimates are at $20 million, but organizers say the overall benefit of the bike route will win over county officials.

"They were very interested in it," says Dr. Davis. "I believe they are beginning to incorporate many components of this project into the areas transportation improvement plan."

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