SPEAK UP FOR EQUITABLE MOBILITY!

HIGHWAY 41
 EMAIL COUNTY COUNCIL TO OPPOSE ALTERNATIVE 1 

If the proposed design (Alternative 1) is to be selected by County Council, it will cause disproportionate, irreversible and permanent damage to both Phillips and Seven Mile communities, two of few remaining historic African American settlement communities. The proposal will widen Highway 41 to five lanes, directly through the center of Phillips. Email County Council to request they oppose Alternative 1 and come up with a better solution that serves and benefits all members of the community.

Copy/past list of emails (include all):
esummey@charlestoncounty.org;hsass@charlestoncounty.org;vrawl@charlestoncounty.org;dickieschweers@tds.net;henrydarby@msn.com;tpryor@charlestoncounty.org;bmoody@charlestoncounty.org;ajohnson@charlestoncounty.org;jhoneycutt@charlestoncounty.org

I-526 LOWCOUNTRY CORRIDOR
 PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC HEARING + SUBMIT COMMENTS: 526lowcountrycorridor.com/westph 

The I-526 Lowcountry Corridor (WEST segment) is open again for public comment. As a reminder, this project is a widening of the existing 526 corridor, with the western portion running from West Ashley to North Charleston. Given the tremendous impact on numerous neighboring communities, one of the critical mitigation opportunities is increased bicycle, pedestrian and transit access. This is particularly important for the abundance of affected citizens who do not have access to a car.

Despite myriad concerns with this project, we are relieved to share some positive multi-modal news: based on requests by Charleston Moves, local municipalities, the BCDCOG and the public, SCDOT has agreed to include a 14′ multi-use path over all the 526 river crossings! This is critical in building a connected, equitable transportation network across the county.

That said, we are still pushing the agency to consider extending this path beyond just the bridges. There are tons of projects in the queue that serve as useful points of leverage, making the case for DOT to take on this investment as a key aspect of this multi-billion dollar project. The agency has launched a virtual public hearing, and we need you to review and submit comments. Below is a list of our talking points; please feel free to incorporate them into your comments.

  1. Bike + Pedestrian Access: Connected multi-modal facilities throughout impacted neighborhoods and to community amenities and daily needs is critical. Not only, but particularly for those without access to a motor vehicle. Restricting access and isolating neighborhoods with the widening of this interstate will cut the life-blood of communities who have lived there for generations.
  2. Public Transit: Bus stops need to be upgraded and enhanced transit service (Corridor G of the BCDCOG’s Regional Transit Framework Plan) should be implemented along the 526 corridor on opening day, not once the interstate’s level-of-service fails again.
  3. Neighborhood Leadership: The Community Advisory Council (CAC) needs to be empowered to guide the project’s community mitigation. Impacted residents are the experts on what is most needed to improve existing conditions and to prevent further damage by this project. Additional funding needs to be allocated to effectively address their needs.
  4. Affordable Housing: Single-family, owner-occupied homes are the most impacted type of housing stock. SCDOT claims they will provide 100 multi-family units for those displaced, however that will not be enough, and residents do not want to be removed from their communities. SCDOT must find solutions to provide adequate (type and quantity) housing within the neighborhoods, without burdening owners with new or increased mortgages and renters with higher payments.
  5. Preservation: A number of the most impacted neighborhoods are historic, with properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. SCDOT needs to determine how to prevent damaging these significant historical and cultural sites.

Helpful media resources to check out:

  • Public hearing announcement HERE
  • SCDOT commits to multi-modal access HERE
  • Community mitigation draft overview HERE

BRIDGE THE ASHLEY
 SIGN THE PETITION: bit.ly/bridgetheashleypetition 

This campaign is about not only ensuring the Ashley River Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge and associated intersections are installed and improved, but also about working to get bicycle and pedestrian access for the North Bridge, James Island Connector and Wappoo Cut Bridge.

OPEN STREETS
 SUBMIT YOUR PILOT PROJECT IDEAS: forms.gle/62VMJGcGEvNKEdZV8 

We need to encourage the City of Charleston to experiment with more open street and parklet opportunities, particularly in diverse areas of the city. To that end, we want to hear your suggestions on locations for pilot projects. Check out our Google Form to submit your ideas; please send us one location per submission.