Byron White of Charleston has won The Post and Courier’s Golden Pen award for September for his letter to the editor “State fails to facilitate safe biking.”
Mr. White, citing from a Post and Courier editorial that supported local bikeway expansion, wrote:
“You state that ‘every city cannot be a Copenhagen’ when it comes to making cycling a priority in its traffic plans and infrastructure. Perhaps. But there is no reason that Charleston should not try.”
He added: “The biggest challenge is not the bridges and waterways. It is the lack of leadership within the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT), as well as the executive and legislative branches of S.C. government.”
And: “The SCDOT designed and built the bridge to Sullivan’s Island with barely a sidewalk, much less a bike lane. This was after months of discussion and requests from the cycling community.
“The SCDOT has refused to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Grimball and Folly roads, despite that James Island Elementary School (JIES), area residents, James Island Public Service District (JIPSD), the City of Charleston, the Town of James Island, and the 21-member First Congressional Legislative Delegation have requested one to improve the safety of drivers and pedestrians who are traveling to and from JIES.”
He concluded: “South Carolina ended the fiscal year with a higher-than-expected surplus, handing legislators an additional $68 million to distribute next year, so revenue is not the problem.
“I long for the day when the state of South Carolina has a governor, General Assembly and DOT that will make cycling and pedestrian infrastructure central to transportation needs in every community in South Carolina.”
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.