With bridge repairs expected to take 4 weeks, some commuters turn to cycling

Local News

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announced today repairs on the Wando Bridge are expected to take four weeks. Many routes throughout Mt. Pleasant are congested and people are looking for alternate ways to get to their destinations. Some people are choosing to dust off their bicycles.

Cyclist Aubrey Smith says, “It’s quicker. Compared to yesterday when I was crossing the bridge in the car it took like 50 minutes to get to the Crosstown, but biking the bridge I can get over there in 30 minutes or so. It’s quicker, it’s better for my exercise, and it’s really gorgeous out.”

After sitting in gridlock for the past few days, trading four wheels for two may seem like a good idea.

Cyclist Nancy Whirley says, “Biking and walking are definitely the way to go.”

Charleston Moves says it’s great people are utilizing bikes to bypass the traffic, but there’s a few things to remember before you hit the road.

Charleston Moves Executive Director, Katie Zimmerman says, “The most important thing is to be as consistent as possible. You don’t want to startle motorists, you don’t want to make them feel like they don’t know what you’re doing.”

This means using hand signals before turning or stopping, using the bike lane or staying to the right side of a lane, and obeying the rules of the road like traffic lights and stop signs.

Zimmerman adds, “Bells and lights are required in the state of South Carolina. So you want to have a white light in front and a red light in back. A bell, or some kind of sound device to let people know you are approaching them from behind.”

If you feel safer on the sidewalk, you can ride there with caution.

Zimmerman says, “The person on foot always has the right of way. Make sure you’re going slow, make sure you’re being careful, and you’re letting anyone who’s walking or in a wheelchair do what they need to do and you’re deferring to them.”

She says if you are going to try out commuting by bike, Mt. Pleasant is an easy place to start.

Zimmerman says, “The town of Mt. Pleasant has done a wonderful job consistently installing bike infrastructure so there are plenty of options for folks in the town to have their own space while on a bike, and often times probably get some where faster than they would if they were in a car.”

Coincidentally, this week is National Bike to Work Week. If you have any questions about bike laws or safety, contact Charleston Moves.

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