Supporters of making one lane of Charleston's lower Ashley River bridge exclusive for bicyclists and pedestrians will hold a press conference Friday to say why it is needed.

"The Legare Bridge bike and pedestrian lane is the linchpin of a bike-friendly Charleston," Tom Bradford, acting director of Charleston Moves, said in announcing the press conference.

"We consider Mayor (Joe) Riley's outspoken support of this facility to be an unbreakable promise to the people of Charleston, and to generations to come, and fully believe councilmen will, and must, understand this," he said.

The move comes as some members of City Council have expressed reservations about making the change to the T. Allen Legare Jr. Bridge into downtown. Some council members said the switch would create a driving hardship for residents of West Ashley, and have also questioned the demand.

Bradford said the project has long been called for by city officials and residents.

"This plan has its origins in discussions in the late '70s," he said. "It's essentially baked into an enlightened vision for Charleston, and any threat to it is entirely counter-productive."

Supporters will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Albemarle and Folly roads. In case of rain, they will meet in a conference room on the 14th floor of the round Riverview Holiday Inn.