I feel that Charleston lacks a bicycle culture and drivers are not forgiving of anything not on four wheels. I left Charleston four years for Portland, OR and only just came back to visit this past April. The differences are stark.
It's not easy to rent anything other than a beach cruiser and the one place that I found with a decent selection earns most of their income off the sale of beach cruisers. In my opinion beach cruisers are not comfortable and shouldn't be ridden long distances while only appealing to the most casual of riders.
I don't feel in Charleston that cyclists or pedestrians are given much thought or consideration. In Portland cars will actually stop at crosswalks. There are enough bike lanes that you can traverse much of town without having to leave one. In Charleston I was forced to sidewalks several times to avoid the murderous rage of some drivers. Charleston has a long way to go.
Charleston had decades to plan and implement infrastructure including bicycle paths but chose instead to focus on all things downtown and cultural projects.
Its foolish to blame the current council or mayor for decades of negligence by the past "visionary" administration. They are doing the best they can with cards they have been dealt.
Bicyclists are disrespected here be cause of the actions of perhaps a few, who are arrogant asses who disobey rues of the road, refuse to hug the shoulder, choose to ride for fun during busy times, and worst of all, insist on riding on an interstate....the James Island Connector.
Downtown will never be bike friendly unless some curbside parking is replaced with bike lanes on designated roads or narrow two way streets are converted to one-way allowing a bike lane and possibly double sided parking. It is easy and it is cheap. This has been requested by both individuals and Neighborhood Associations on the peninsula only to be rebuffed by City Officials including those within the Planning Department. One major road plan in particular, as presented by Stantec, for the City of Charleston completely ignored any consideration for bicyclists or pedestrians, it was not 'approved' by a majority of residents or all the affected NA's, Charleston Moves voiced their opposition, even C of C opposed it...yet Council approved the plan unanimously. It comes from the top, and your elected officials would rather side with the Mayor than actually read the plans and side with their constituents.
I think it's disingenuous to say tourists are being lured here and paying $400 a night in hotels because of the prospect of plentiful cycling opportunities. Pretty sure most of them don't give a shit about riding bikes. They are more than happy to clog up the roads with horse-drawn carriages.
Charleston has a very good tourism business, but it's is also a living, breathing city where people live and work, not just a tourist destination. For all of the accolades Charleston gets from travel and food magazines it's how we're seen as a livable place that actually creates real sustainable value. I just do not understand why some people are so hostile towards anything that improves and expands Charleston's urban landscape. The peninsula is great, but the peninsula can't be the end all be all for urban living in a place where the population is growing so rapidly. Urban living is extraordinarily popular. People are moving back to cities, people are investing in urban communities, but the city's actions toward bike infrastructure clearly communicates their intention to build a place they want to live in, regardless of what will help improve Charleston and move it into the future.
I moved here nearly 30 years ago and immediately got rid of my bike because I didn't feel like dying while riding Riding on 6 inches of bumpy shoulder next to an open ditch it is not my idea of a relaxing bike ride. Nearly 30 years later there's been no improvement. I can appreciate those who try but it still seems like a nonsensical undertaking, not if you value your life.
No new roads should be build without proper shoulders AND a proper bike lane. Period. It's not hard people.
Any thing that keeps MORE people from coming here, I'm all for. Unless they all ride bikes!
Charleston is nice for tourists, but besides being a pretty place, visually, offers very little for residents, and its obvious that this is in line with the city's priorities. Biking here is possible, as in there is concrete in places. I ride knowing that if i get hit by a car, at least it'll probably be from behind, so I probably won't see him or her coming. But as a bicyclist who follows the rules, I am usually treated as a second class citizen. Getting heckled and having things thrown at me regularly is worse than the non-existent bicycle infrastructure. But, like most issues in the region, it comes down to education, and this should not be mistaken with time spent in school.
Yes. All of it yes. Your words written gather my thoughts. Again. Thank you
Yeah, you have to be careful here you can't be "too black" depending on what kind of friends you want. Anyway I'm happy you brought this up. I'm also looking froward to you're thought provoking columns.
White Americans love freedom until it is exercised in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Your shirt being a prime example. Or minorities open carrying. Or minorities kneeling during a national anthem. Or flag burning. When these things happen, the "stop being so PC and offended all the time!" crowd becomes the ones taking grievous offense, often comparing the behaviors that threaten their ironically delicate sensibilities to treason.
I would like to see the shirt. Or the symbol anyways. I think the only symbol that would really make me react that way would be nazi symbols. Also... Haven't you been on the Rachel maddow show?
I look forward to your columns. *adds you to the list of things that make living in SC fun*
I can definitely relate. There is a difference between being friendly and being friends.
Alison in communion with Angelina and Sarah, Septima and Carrie, is a most lovely thought, inspiring a smile, and tears.
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