It's going to take an expert to solve the traffic and parking woes in downtown Charleston.
That's perhaps why the city has brought in Gabe Klein, the former director of transportation for the cities of Chicago and the District of Columbia, to help guide the plan to improve mobility on the peninsula over the next few months.
During Klein's first visit to Charleston this week, he'll give a public presentation at 6 p.m. July 9 at the Charleston Museum to discuss his accomplishments in other cities as well as his thoughts about the work ahead in downtown Charleston.
Klein is credited with facilitating Chicago's "Complete Streets" project, which involved the creation of its first bike-share program, and other pedestrian-oriented initiatives in the District of Columbia.
"Gabe Klein is recognized as a unique expert in the field of urban mobility, and as we plan for future transportation needs, Charleston will benefit greatly from his perspective and guidance," Mayor Joe Riley said in a statement.
The city's initiative to improve transportation downtown is part of a broader effort to strike a balance between the robust tourism industry on the peninsula and a high quality of life for downtown residents.
A city-appointed Tourism Advisory Council of residents and tourism professionals is working in subcommittees, including one that focuses on transportation issues, to determine how the city's 16-year-old Tourism Management Plan should be updated. The council is expected to present a set of proposals to city council by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the city is cracking down on ordinances already on the books. Three new tourism enforcement officers are being hired to patrol areas that are heavily trafficked by visitors and tour guide businesses.
Plus, while the council works to make adjustments, no new permits are being issued for tour guide-related vehicles or special events downtown.
Note: a previous version of this story contained an error. Klein will give the mobility presentation Wednesday, July 9.
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail
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