CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Charleston Moves is a local organization that advocates for “mobility choice.” They have a vision for the City of Charleston; building safe and connected ways to allow everyone to get where they need to go.
Katie Zimmerman is the Executive Director of the organization. As a bike rider herself, Zimmerman says that Charleston’s current infrastructure mainly considers those who drive.
“Most of the bridges in Charleston County are not conducive to anybody who is outside of a motor vehicle. When you think about Charleston and how it was built, those crossings are crucial to get where you need to go.”
Zimmerman was recently chosen as a “Charleston Changemaker,” for a new series at the Restoration Hotel. Her consistent advocacy within the community helped make the dream of a bridge over the Ashley River between downtown and West Ashley a reality.
“We learned from the Charleston County Library’s historian that that’s actually been a debate since the early 1900s. So, it’s been going on for a really long time. Basically, as soon as the bridge was built, people were saying, ‘why can’t we walk over it?’,” says Zimmerman.
While it’s just one bridge out of the many that still lack a pedestrian/bike lane, it’s approval is definitely a step in the right direction.
Zimmerman says that this bridge will be a way to build momentum as they begin to tackle more projects. “I tell people that we want to build a bridge a year,” she jokes.
There are many other projects that Charleston Moves has in the works for 2020. One of the biggest issues they hope to tackle is the Maybank Highway.
“There is a dire need for safety and quality-of-life improvements along James Island’s Maybank Highway corridor, necessitating a complete street vision to make the street safer for all users,” she says.
In January of this year, they submitted an application to gain funding for sidewalks on Woodland Shores Road and a multi-use path between Woodland Shores and Stefan Drive.
Zimmerman says that construction on the Ashley River Bridge will hopefully begin by this December and should be completed and open to the public by 2023.
For more information on Charleston Moves, click here.