Tuk-tuks, no; bikes, yes
Barring an unexpected change of heart, Charleston will likely say "ta ta" to an entrepreneur's idea of introducing tuk-tuks here.
The city has drafted an ordinance to ban the use of these three-wheeled electric vehicles. Council's Traffic and Transportation Committee chairman Billy Moody doesn't like them. And the police department agrees.
The notion that they would make historic Charleston look like a theme park is debatable. Are they harder on the eyes than smoke-belching buses?
But people seem to agree that the open buggies, akin to golf carts, are unsafe, and that should be reason enough to restrict them. Riders can fall out. And if a tuk-tuk were hit by an SUV going 30 mph, it would be too, too ugly.
Still, it would be short-sighted not to recognize the positive aspects of tuk-tuks: They are quiet and produce no carbon emissions. Kind of like bicycles.
So while tuk-tuks aren't likely to find a home in Charleston, bicycles are being used more and more.
Mayor Joe Riley has pushed for measures to make the city safer and more accessible for cyclists, including adding bike racks and bike lanes, and advocating for bike access on the Legare bridge over the Ashley River.
There is much more to do, but the goal is worthy. Bikes are a quiet, emission-free, healthy mode of transportation. They have proven to be a safe way to get around cities, large and small.
And unless the bicyclist wears Mickey Mouse ears, they don't even hint of theme parks.