People Pedal CHS is Charleston’s vision for a network of connected bike infrastructure on the peninsula. The network is a collaboration between Charleston Moves and the City of Charleston: namely, the Civic Design Division, the Department of Planning, Preservation & Sustainability, and the Department of Traffic & Transportation. A portion of the data for the system came directly from the 1,300 citizens who participated in the route mapping survey.
WHAT’S IN THE WORKS
In 2018, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) shared that Meeting Street, King Street, Calhoun Street and St. Philip Street are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th most dangerous roads in the state for people walking and bicycling, respectively. The agency, in coordination with stakeholders including Charleston Moves, the City of Charleston, the College of Charleston, BCDCOG, the Medical District and others, conducted Road Safety Audits for the four corridors. After developing reports and conceptual designs, SCDOT hosted a public meeting and 30-day comment period in August 2022. You can see SCDOT’s concepts that were reviewed by the public HERE. You can also review the audit data HERE.
Many of you participated in that public process. After it closed, concerns were raised by specific constituents with specific opposition to SCDOT’s proposed buffered bike lane on King Street that would run from Calhoun Street to almost Broad Street. From December 2022 through March 2023, a new concept was developed by the City of Charleston, BCDCOG, College of Charleston, the King Street Business Improvement District (BID), lower King Street business owners, and the Charleston Downtown Alliance without public engagement or engagement with other entities that participated in the audits.
On July 18, 2023, SCDOT gave brief presentations to the City of Charleston’s Traffic & Transportation Committee, then full Council. This was followed by a discussion among Council of the City’s new concept, which had not previously been made public and still was not shown publicly during the meeting.
Because of pushback from the public and members of council, the Traffic & Transportation Committee hosted a public comment opportunity on the new concept, which was revealed as a 14′ shared use lane with no bicycle infrastructure — unprecedented and unsafe. The public overwhelmingly opposed the new concept, as did members of council. Nonetheless, the Committee recommended the unsafe concept to full Council. At the August 15, 2023 Council meeting, despite majority support for a bike lane, Council deferred to receive more information. Two councilmembers in particular want to hear from the “stakeholders,” who they define as business/property owners on lower King, and who already met privately with the City to develop the unsafe 14′ travel lane plan.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who emailed the Mayor and City Council, to those of you who showed up, and to those who spoke. You made all the difference. Please stick with us and keep up with the latest on our Take Action page.
WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED
Make sure to keep up with all the moving parts on our Progress Map!
On July 18, 2023, SCDOT gave brief presentations to the City of Charleston’s Traffic & Transportation Committee, then full Council, on the Downtown Safety Improvements project, which proposes bike/ped improvements to Meeting, King, St. Philip and Calhoun Streets. This was followed by a discussion among Council of the City’s new concept, which had not previously been made public and still was not shown publicly last night. You can watch the meeting recordings HERE and HERE, as well as coverage by News 2, ABC News 4 and Live 5. Council decided to host a public hearing, planned for August 2023.
In January 2022, City staff and Charleston Moves met to further incorporate our design suggestions into the improvements to Huger from Meeting to Morrison. On-street parking has been removed from the design (to avoid dooring).
On September 30, 2021, the City of Charleston hosted a community meeting on their proposed improvements to Huger Street between Meeting Street and Morrison Drive. Charleston Moves advocated for a more appropriate design, including wider bike lanes with green paint, and improvements connecting through the intersections.
On August 10, 2021, the Charleston County Transportation Committee (CTC) approved funding for SCDOT’s safety and traffic operations study for King Street between Line and Huger, as recommended in the Safety Review. Charleston Moves and business owners submitted letters of support.
On June 23, 2021, Charleston County presented transportation sales tax-funded project updates, including the announcement that bike lanes along Romney Street, from King Street to North Romney Street, are under design.
On March 31, 2021, the City of Charleston held a ribbon-cutting celebration to announce the completion of the Brigade Street improvements project … the City’s first protected bike lane! The infrastructure includes: bike lanes on both sides of Brigade; a wide buffer with physical delineators; green paint through the Brigade/Meeting intersection; curb extensions to shorten the pedestrian crossings over Meeting; bike and pedestrian signage; audible signals and ADA-compliant detectable warning surfaces at Brigade/Meeting.
On March 26, 2021, SCDOT convened Charleston Moves, City of Charleston and the BCDCOG to assess King Street between Huger and Line Streets. SCDOT will be preparing a formal report over the coming weeks, that includes observations and recommendations discussed on our walk. There isn’t money set aside for these improvements yet, but having this assessment on hand, agreed upon by these agencies, will help government and advocates be nimble in leveraging opportunities through other projects, as well as making new requests specific to the safety review’s findings.
On January 11, 2020, the Brigade Street improvements project gets another stamp of approval to move forward, thanks to a supportive North Central and East Central neighborhood meeting.
On November 6, 2019, the City of Charleston was officially awarded $18.149M in federal funding to construct a standalone bike/ped bridge over the Ashley River between downtown and West Ashley. With a local match, the total funds for the project come to around $23M, and include upgrades to 3 intersections to ensure safe access to/from the bridge. As part of People Pedal CHS and this project, the Bee/Lockwood intersection will be upgraded for pedestrians and people on bikes.
On August 5-6, 2019, the Charleston Moves team joined SCDOT, Stantec, City of Charleston, Charleston Police Department and Lowcountry Local First for a Road Safety Audit (RSA) of King and Meeting Streets to assess existing conditions and safety improvements for all roadway users. A report is being generated and will be made public around February 2020.
On July 15, 2019, the City of Charleston submitted their 3rd application to fund a bike/ped bridge over the Ashley River between downtown and West Ashley. Charleston Moves was instrumental in facilitating 230+ letters of support from businesses and institutions for inclusion in the application.
On May 30, 2019, Charleston Moves sat down with the City of Charleston Transportation Department, Councilmember Lewis, Councilmember Mitchell and Enough Pie to discuss the status of the Brigade Street improvements project, and next steps.
On March 6, 2019, Line Street is converted to two-way traffic. Sharrows have been installed along the corridor (King Street to Rutledge Avenue), as well as a raised crosswalk at Percy Street.
On August 21, 2018, the Citywide Transportation Plan, which People Pedal CHS is incorporated into, got the green light by Charleston City Council on it’s final reading. Now, these plans have a mechanism for funding, and short-term priority projects will begin to be implemented.
On August 10, 2018, we completed a walking audit of Rutledge Avenue to see how the corridor is functioning (and failing to function) for people on foot and bike. We were joined by neighbors of North Central, Westside, Hampton Park Terrace and Wagener Terrace.
On August 3, 2018, we hosted our first Fresh Paint Ride to celebrate the beginnings of a connected network by touring the sharrows that have been installed so far.
On July 19, 2018, the City submitted the BUILD application, a federal grant to fund a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River, as this vital crossing is part of People Pedal CHS and connects the City’s largest population area with the largest employment center.
On July 17, 2018, the Citywide Transportation Plan, which People Pedal CHS is incorporated into, got the green light by Charleston City Council on it’s first reading.
As of June 6, 2018, sharrows have been installed on select City-owned streets. To date, they are on Vendue Range, Hester Street, 10th Avenue, Grove Street, Radcliffe Street, Bee Street, Carolina Street and Fishburne Street.
On June 1, 2018, Charleston Moves hosted a rally with Enough Pie, businesses, community leadership and residents in support of a safe intersection at Brigade/Meeting Street. Our vision is to connect Bridgeview Village Apartments to the existing I-26 underpass path and future LowLine, and link to existing bike lanes along Morrison Drive. Click HERE to hear from our community about the dangerous and unacceptable existing conditions, and their plea to make it safe and connected.
On May 16, 2018, the Citywide Transportation Plan (CTP) passed through the City’s Planning Commission, and prior, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee recommended that People Pedal CHS be incorporated into the CTP.
On March 29, 2018, Charleston Moves hosted a kickoff event, during which attendees could review the plan up close, interact with us and city staff, and learn about next steps.
The network’s maps and design toolkit are complete!