Celebrate greenway improvements
I attended the recent Charleston City Council meeting when the bike lane in Hampton Park was discussed, and I have followed the status of biking over the James Island Connector. Lately, I have read about improvements to the West Ashley Greenway.
I am a little stumped by some peopleís reticence towards making our wonderful city more bicycle-friendly.
It seems to me that anything we as a community can do to help our neighbors be healthier (not everyone can afford a gym membership), more self-sufficient (not everyone can drive or afford a car), and more energy-efficient (bicycles donít use gasoline) would be a good thing.
The Nation reported statistics from the League of American Bicyclists: bike use has gone up 39 percent nationally since 2001. In the 70 largest U.S. cities, commuter bike use is up 63 percent. This is a trend we need to embrace.
According to Good News magazine young people (millennials) are choosing to be bicyclists and pedestrians instead of drivers. But South Carolina is second only to Florida in pedestrian fatalities.
My group, urban edge studio, did the master plan for the West Ashley Greenway a few years ago.
It passes through my neighborhood, and I use it for recreation and transportation.
During the planning process, we held several public meetings to gather public opinion and design ideas. The input from these meetings helped shape the final master plan, portions of which are now being implemented.
While we canít completely please every person, we try to build consensus, reach compromises, educate and inspire through our charrettes. The process works, but only when people participate.
The current improvements will allow the greenway to better serve an important function as a recreation and transportation corridor.
I am glad to see the city moving forward with this great project, which improves our public open space so that it is more accessible and more useable by more people, more often.
It is also important to note that the city received an award for being the master plan from American Trails for ďan exceptional example of the inspiring work being done within the trails community.Ē
Letís celebrate the cityís improvements to our greenway.
William T. Eubanks, FASLA
urban edge studio
Wando Park Boulevard