Pro bike group makes pitch for Ashley River Bridge bike lane

Published: Feb. 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2014 at 9:30 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A pro biking organization made a pitch Friday morning for a bike pedestrian lane for the Ashley River Bridge that runs into downtown Charleston

Charleston Moves wants one of the four lanes on the bridge converted to a lane for bikers, walkers and runners.

"More bicycles and more walkers means fewer cars. It's really is that simple," said Stephanie Hunt of Charleston Moves.

The group made a last minute public pitch for the bike lane five days before a crucial city council vote on the project.

The plans are to put the lane on the far right side of the bridge.

"Without connecting a city where there's 40,000 people on the peninsula and 65,000 people West Ashley, not connecting in every way would be a mistake and this is our chance," said city councilman Mike Seekings who supports the bike lane.

Some people are concerned taking away one of the four lanes on the bridge will cause even more traffic problems.

"Today on Friday, I'm voting no," said city councilman Bill Moody.

Moody is one of the non believers of the bike pedestrian lane.

Moody says the studies he's seen show by the year 2020, traffic will be so bad that the state department of transportation will tell the city to take the bike lane away.

"So when they get the stuff done, we have it in four or five years and then we have to take them back, it doesn't make a lot of sense," said Moody.

Bike lane supporter Mayor Joe Riley disagrees, saying a study showed the delay for drivers will be minimal, because there will be additional turn lane space on Lockwood Boulevard and Bee Street.

"It's not minutes, it's seconds and they're safer seconds," said Riley.

City council will vote Tuesday night on whether to continue the study for the bike lane. If the project ultimately is approved, Riley said the bike lane could be added in about ten months.

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