Cleveland bus rapid transit (copy)

Cleveland's bus rapid transit system is serving as a model for a Charleston mass transit line that will connect Summerville and the peninsula. Center for Neighborhood Technology/Wikimedia

The Oct. 8 Post and Courier article describing the planned bus rapid transit service between Summerville and downtown Charleston cited Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue system as a model.

I’m familiar with the Euclid Avenue system, having lived in the area when it was built. The Cleveland system appears to work well, but a direct comparison between the two is risky at best.

The Cleveland system is only about 6 miles long, moving from downtown through a densely populated residential and business area to a major cultural, medical and educational center. Driving between those two areas is problematic, considering traffic and parking.

The route between Summerville and Charleston is about 22 miles, and the planners themselves have advised that the travel time will be about the same as driving. (Actually it will be substantially more because riders will have to travel to and from stops on both ends of their journey.)

To me, this means that Summerville area residents would be unlikely to use it.

There may be more promising alternatives:

• End the bus line at Charleston Southern University. The school and the medical complex across from it are logical destinations.

• Establish express bus lanes on I-26 between Summerville and downtown, perhaps adding one or two stops in North Charleston, or adding a stop at I-26 and U.S. 78 for people headed into North Charleston. High-occupancy vehicle lanes might work, but my experience with them has been mixed. Buses must have the right of way, or they will be caught up in the daily congestion on the freeway with no time savings.

People will use public transit if it will get them where they want to go quicker and more reliably than driving. If it doesn’t do that, the investment will have been wasted.


Lettered Olive Lane

Mount Pleasant

Our better angels

To the white homeless guy who, unasked, helped unload boxes of canned goods at our church food pantry ...

To the black pantry client who finished a line of Gershwin’s “Summertime” that I’d begun singing and then laughed large and warmly with me ...

To the Latino man who looked up from his raking and smiled big when I yelled “Buenos dias” ...

To the teenage girl who taught me to hook my thumb when giving a “high five,” thus making it “hand hug” ...

Thank you all for reminding me of the better angels among us Americans.


Marsh Point Drive


Kurds abandoned

Many in the national security community have had the honor to work with the Kurdish people. As an instructor at the Joint Special Operations University, I recently spoke with a courageous Kurdish woman who had been an interpreter for U.S. forces in Syria.

Lindsey Graham blasts Trump over Turkey invasion, calls it 'worse' than Vietnam

About five months ago, she expressed her fear that President Donald Trump would abandon the Kurds. I tried, largely unsuccessfully, to reassure her that we would never abandon a loyal ally.

After all, I argued, the Kurdish people were not fair-weather friends.

While others abandoned the fight, the Kurds fought by our side against Saddam Hussein and later against the brutal Assad dictatorship in Syria and the terrorism of ISIS.

They suffered thousands of casualties, male and female.

In the process, the Kurds were able to establish a democratic, market-based economy unique to the region. Our common cause had been supported by Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

In short, their fight was our fight. And, unlike the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. presence in the region has been, in military jargon, a light footprint, low-cost operation that paid tremendous dividends.

Sadly, after one ill-advised phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, our president reversed two decades of U.S. policy. It is rare that deadly consequences of a foreign policy decision manifest so quickly.

Two days after the president’s decision, against U.S. military advice, the Turks launched a full-scale attack on our Kurdish allies.

Who benefits from our withdrawal? ISIS, Iran, the Assad regime and Russia. And who suffers? Tragically, the Kurds foremost, but also U.S. credibility.

Who will trust us after abandoning our most loyal ally? The betrayal of the Kurds will leave a permanent stain on U.S. honor.


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Marshall Boulevard

Sullivan’s Island

Support libraries

From July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, library patrons saved $4.4 million by borrowing items from the Dorchester County Library instead of purchasing them.

Hicks column: Don't believe the disinformation, Dorchester needs more libraries

During that fiscal year, the library had 274,900 visits, 647,506 items borrowed and 5,398 new library cards issued.

This volume of activity took place in just two libraries, in Summerville and St. George, that serve our county’s population of 160,000. Our county has had two libraries for 40 years. Neighboring Berkeley has six, and Charleston has 18. It is time we become more competitive and offer services that our burgeoning population needs.

In 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved an expansion plan for our library system, but a lawsuit voided that election result.

On Nov. 5, voters will once again have an opportunity to vote on a $30 million expansion plan, which includes new facilities in North Charleston, Oakbrook, Summerville and Ridgeville.

We’ll be providing quiet study spaces, meeting rooms, teen zones, family spaces and outdoor areas.

Libraries are about so much more than books these days. They provide lifelong learning environments.

Please consider how much libraries mean to all of our residents and support them in the November referendum.


Chairman, Dorchester County Library Board

North Parler Avenue

St. George