CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County leaders are looking for public input on the Better North Bridge Project.
The project was created to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety when crossing over the bridge.
The first of two public input meetings was held on Wednesday night. The second meeting will be held on January 12th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church located on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in Charleston.
A few ideas have been discussed amongst project leaders, local organizations advocating for changes, and the public. Those include adding pedestrian/cyclist lanes to the bridge and creating a separate bridge just for these groups to use.
Charleston Moves, a non-profit advocating for a more accessible and connected Charleston area, has been instrumental in the push towards a safer path on this bridge and other crossings in the Lowcountry. Executive Director Katie Zimmerman says Charleston Moves conducted community outreach by asking people in the area what they would like to see for the bridge.
“We’re building a coalition of interested folks and basically we’ve been advocating for the next step which is what’s being presented starting [Wednesday night]. The different route alignments for where that bridge would go and how it could serve the most people,” said Zimmerman.
Charleston Moves has a specific vision for the project and hopes it involves a separate pedestrian bridge.
“We do have a preference of what’s going in front of the public. We would really like to see the version that splits and then touches down on two sides in North Charleston. We think that would serve the most people and be the most cost-effective.”
Since 2015, four people have been hit and killed while crossing over the bridge either on foot or on a bicycle. Since 2013, six more people have been injured.
“We’re already a dangerous region for walking and biking. This particular crossing is really important for people to be able to use. It links people to grocery stores, to work, to appointments, to see family, to the green space on the other side,” said Zimmerman.
In addition to the public input meetings, Charleston County is accepting public comments via its website. That deadline has been extended to February 11th. You can submit your comment here.