Charleston County looking to better cyclist and pedestrian safety

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A path for bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the Ashley River in the North Bridge and Cosgrove Avenue area is coming closer to reality. As a safer path for pedestrians and bicyclists in Charleston County is set to begin its journey this year. 

Katie Zimmerman, the Executive Director of Charleston Moves says the North Bridge, in particular, is terrifying for cyclists, pedestrians, and even drivers.

She says that nearly every single person who has been struck and killed while biking across that bridge happened outside of CARTA’s hours of operation and they were either going to work or from work. 

While CARTA recently extended their hours of operation for the North Bridge route, Katie Zimmerman with Charleston Moves says is a great assist, but with only part of the problem. She says, “having safe bikeable and walkable space in the form of a separate bridge that’s going to change so much for so many different people”. 

The concept of a second bridge for pedestrians and cyclists is already in the works but questions as to which direction Charleston County chooses to take their multi-use pass after they cross the bridge into North Charleston remains. Now, ahead of building the so-called “Better North Bridge”, Charleston County is working with the SCDOT on a different branch of the project.

Sheila Sororian, the Project Manager for Better North Bridge says they are looking at adding bike lanes to Azalea Drive in North Charleston first. She says the road is the main thoroughfare for pedestrian traffic to the bridge and they are looking to fill in those gaps ahead of the North Bridge construction. 

The county says studies show the traffic on Azalea Drive could be handled from being at its current four lanes, down to two lanes. Even more, when public comment is heard, restriping could begin as early as this year. 

Charleston County is still seeking input for the Azalea Drive restriping project, to add your comment click here.

On Saturday, Charleston Moves will be hosting the Better North Bridge Ride and information event, for more on that, click here.

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