A July 24 editorial advocates a bike/pedestrian connection between West Ashley and the peninsula. City Council has approved the conversion of a lane of the Legare Bridge into a bike lane, and the county is exploring the specifics and the cost of accomplishing that.
While thinking about this issue, I have arrived at another potential solution. Until the 1960s there was a train that ran from Charleston’s Grove Street Station to Savannah. The old right of way for that railroad is now the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. The Bikeway now terminates at the Ashley River in Ashleyville.
By building a dedicated bike/pedestrian bridge from Ashleyville to Dunneman Avenue, we could restore that historic connection. This would provide a safe and quick route for walkers, runners and cyclists from West Ashley to Hampton Park. It would be a boon to neighborhoods on both sides of the river.
Furthermore, it would connect the network of bike/pedestrian paths in West Ashley with the street grid on the peninsula, where bike routes are currently being planned.
There are many examples from around the world of bike/pedestrian bridges, including Des Moines, Iowa. If they can do it in Des Moines, we can do it in Charleston.