Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coming soon to Spruill Avenue: Bike lanes

Posted by Paul Bowers on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Road crews began working at the northern end of Spruill Avenue today, starting a 60-day project to resurface the bumpy road and add bike lanes for its entire length (from East Montague Avenue to Meeting Street Road).

According to a press release from Charleston County government, drivers should expect temporary lane closures and traffic shifts as crews work on the road from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The initial phase of construction includes the repair of sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and concrete driveways. As a result of the addition of two bike lanes, the number of automobile lanes will be reduced from four to three.

COAST Brewery co-owner David Merritt, who has been known to make the bike commute from his Mt. Pleasant home to the brewery on North Charleston's Navy Yard, spoke to the City Paper last year about riding conditions. Here's what he had to say:

When Merritt started taking bicycling seriously last year, he paid $800 for a candy-orange Trek Cobia with heavy-duty front shocks, anticipating potholes and road debris along Spruill Avenue. And while he says Spruill can be "kind of exciting," with rocks and scrap metal scattered across the roadway, the scariest part of the route is Mt. Pleasant on the roads around Highway 17. Drivers on Spruill are used to seeing bicyclists and pedestrians, he says, but not so in Mt. Pleasant. His closest calls have all been on the stretch between his home and the Ravenel Bridge's ample bike lanes.

With the completion of the Spruill resurfacing, bike commuters will have a near-complete route between North Charleston and downtown Charleston. Wide bike lanes were recently added to Morrison Drive, but bikers will still have to rough it in automobile traffic along the stretch of Meeting Street Road connecting Morrison to Spruill.

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