Dramatic improvements to the West Ashley Bikeway and Greenway are on the horizon.
The city and the Charleston Parks Conservancy are working on a master plan for the two linear parks. Renovations to both were identified as immediate priorities of Plan West Ashley, which was adopted by the Charleston City Council earlier this year.
The public can offer thoughts on improving these areas during a series of events at The Schoolhouse on Magnolia Road in West Ashley next week.
"We want people to dream big about what these spaces can be," Charleston Parks Conservancy Executive Director Harry Lesesne said. "Our job is to figure out how to make those things happen."
Both the Bikeway and the longer Greenway are former railroad rights-of-way that were repurposed into bike and pedestrian paths. The new West Ashley Master Plan cited a need to improve dangerous traffic intersections and the connectivity between the two paths.
The city's director of transportation and traffic, Keith Benjamin, said the parks' entrances, exits and intersections were a crucial part of the planning process.
Benjamin said another important facet is whether the paths could serve basic transportation needs, such as getting people to the grocery store or health services. He said the focus on implementation was encouraging.
Director of Parks Jason Kronsberg said the project is intended to instill pride and a sense of ownership.
"We're at the beginning of the process, not the middle or the end," Lesesne said.
The first public event will be a community design forum 6:30 p.m. Monday. The Conservancy also has open houses 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The series of events will culminate with a forum intended to show work-in-progress developments 6:30 p.m. Thursday.