Rebecca Vaughn of Mount Pleasant is the winner of The Post and Courier’s latest Golden Pen for her July 30 letter about bicyclists needing a safe way to cross the Ashley River and get around West Ashley.

Over the past few years, Ms. Vaughn said she and her husband had committed to a bike-only rule for at least one day a week and, thanks to the established bike lanes in Mount Pleasant and on the Ravenel Bridge, they were able to get around safely.

“When we leave Mount Pleasant to adventure downtown or west of the Ashley, however, the lack of safe spaces, particularly along Highway 17 and 61 corridors, is evident,” she wrote. “I empathize with the frustration and fear that West Ashley residents must feel on their bicycles.”

Though there’s no bike lane across the Ashley River, she noted that West Ashley does have two dedicated bike routes, the West Ashley Greenway and the West Ashley Bikeway, that connect much of the area.

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“There is potential to fund a separate bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River that would connect to these paths,” she wrote, adding that she would “love to see this link between downtown Charleston and West Ashley, and ultimately connecting to East Cooper, come to fruition.”

She said a bike-and-pedestrian bridge would provide community benefits and help “unlock a piece of the puzzle that will allow residents and visitors to enjoy a safe transportation choice.” She concluded by urging Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott to lead the charge for the federal funding needed.

The Golden Pen is awarded monthly, and winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.

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