50 years ago local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops taught their members bicycle safety and manners. So did local schools. Many kids rode their bikes to neighborhood schools, even though there were no bike lanes around here. Bicycles were "Big Gifts" on Christmas Day for anyone under 12.
Now we have absolute fools who ride where they please, ear buds blocking out any sound input, who have no idea of traffic laws. At least, that's how it seems to this person! I hope these fools are not the majority of bicyclists on the peninsula, but they surely seem like it!
How do other old cities of comparable size to Charleston, with narrow streets & houses & sidewalks right up to the streets, accommodate bicycles, cars, and other vehicles?
Yes we have a long way to go before I'll be safe cycling to work, but it's not just the drivers and the infrastructure that need to change.
'Sharing the road' with bicycles is a two-way experience. Our city is full of folks who assertively ride side-by-side in the traffic lane - which is legal and appropriate - but then split lanes down the shoulder to run a red light. I regularly see people cycling down the sidewalk, or the left side of the street, running stop signs, or crossing intersections diagonally.
Folks have driven bicycles for years on city streets, there are rules and laws about how to do it safely. Both the drivers and the cyclists need to grow up a little in Charleston for the roads to be safe for bikes.
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.
"it's only a matter of time and rational erosion that mothers will be allowed to "put down" children up to 3 months of age to protect the health of the mother ie. mental health,"
John Byram, everyone. The epitome of mental health.
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.
it's only a matter of time and rational erosion that mothers will be allowed to "put down" children up to 3 months of age to protect the health of the mother ie. mental health,like post partem depression,which can certainly be VERY INCONVENIENT for some women.
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.
The video clearly showed that the cop tried to kill Scott. I don't care what happened before that. I think 30 years in prison for the cop is fair for both.
"Slager then says he then stepped aside, pulled his pistol, and opened fire as Scott turned away."
While I support our Officers that protect us on a daily basis, the video clearly shows Scott already running away as Slager draws his weapon, aims, and then fires. Scott had not 'Just turned away'.
"Savage argues that the officers who would have been able to respond as back-up in a timely fashion were dispatched to serve warrants, retrieve items reported lost, or simply not on duty when Slager called for assistance. "
I can agree with this. Had another officer been there, this shooting may never have happened. Two officers have a much better chance to subdue a suspect prior to it escalating to this level. Further, many people resist thinking they can overpower one officer, but would think twice before taking on two of them.
Came to post that exact thing Kris. This is routine police work used against suspected criminals. Because the criminal in this case happens to be police, that makes it a problem all of a sudden?
Ironic that a cop should be played by the very trick they use on others.
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.
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