Charleston Mayoral candidates take on traffic, transportation

Charleston Mayoral candidates take on traffic, transportation

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Traffic and transportation are issues all six of the candidates running for mayor of Charleston hope to tackle if elected.

Ginny Deerin, a leader in the non-profit sector, already has ads on television touting her stand on the issue.

"Improved roads, new roads, new bridges, connected neighborhoods," said Deerin Thursday. "Really good modern public transit, and trying new ideas like ferries. It's going to take all of that and tinkering around the edges, just doesn't do it."

City Council Member William Dudley-Gregorie says throwing out new ideas isn't the way to go about solving the issue. His says, look at the plans already out there.

"There are plans on the table that have already been approved by the various jurisdictions already, said Gregorie. "I think it would be a waste
for me as a candidate to just do a plan that just simply replicates what exists. We need to start identifying the resources."

State Representative Leon Stavrinakis (D – Charleston County) is showcasing his past accomplishments, like getting funding for 526 and Maybank Highway, to tackle the issue.

"By getting back in local government and getting those projects that I've already helped fund, moving and completed is a big priority," said Stavrinakis. Then we've got projects on the table for Main Road and 17, we're going to make sure that gets done. Savannah Highway, Glenn McConnell Parkway, 61, we gotta improve all these roads."

Businessman John Tecklenburg has similar views regarding the issue, making sure all bodies of government work cooperatively.

"We need to rethink the way some of our highways are working, or not working, as the case may be, including Savannah Highway, Sam Rittenburg, Highway 61," said Tecklenburg.

Maurice Washington, who runs a financial consulting firm, doesn't have a formal plan, but says growth and development need to be looked at before any sort of plan can be created. He also says funding is a crucial aspect.

"I think it's appropriate to focus on the things that are in existing use," said Washington. "Fix those like having better traffic patterns, signalization, and things of that nature, until such time that monies flow from federal, state, down to local government."

Toby Smith, a consultant for non-profits, is the sixth candidate in the running for mayor.

She was not able to talk to WCSC on camera Thursday, but provided a brief statement about her position.

She said in part, "We need sidewalks for walkers, bike lanes for riders, an improved bus fleet... Fortunately, the needs have already been spelled out in more than one place. Let's start testing what has been proposed..."

Election day is November 3.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.