I travel across the old Ashley River bridges daily as I go back and forth to work. I don’t see many bicyclists, but when I do, I see them on the World I Memorial Bridge, the one slightly to the north of the T. Allen Legare Jr. Bridge.
That’s probably because that bridge, which opened in 1926, has wider sidewalks. It has decent sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, as compared to the southern-most bridge that opened in 1961, which has very narrow sidewalks.
Obviously in the 1950s and ’60s the automobile ruled. Now 90 years later from the first bridge we are trying to be more accommodating to walkers and bikers. I fully support that because I am a avid biker as well.
I would like to know if other ideas exist — other than taking away a lane of traffic. Merging from Highway 61 is hard enough with four lanes. Reducing the bridge to three lanes is only going to be more challenging for drivers. And it will only be a temporary fix and cost $2 million or more.
Could one of the sidewalks on the northern-most bridge be removed, the lanes moved over, and the other sidewalk be enlarged and a barrier added?
I think for one of the fastest growing communities in America, we should not be taking lanes from automobiles, unless it is for some sort of mass transit. I would like to see our tax money spent more wisely.
Maybe it is time to evaluate the northern bridge again. How much longer can a 90-year-old bridge last anyway?
The Cooper River bridges had several years left when they were replaced and look at the results.