Improving transportation in Charleston

I26AltAs the Charleston, S.C. community continues to grow with tourism, residents and businesses, so does the need to increase its infrastructure to handle the influx of people. Transportation alternatives are being discussed through the I-26 Alternatives Analysis to improve maneuverability throughout the Lowcountry.

I attended a meeting last night where the traffic study team is recommending a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. A number of larger cities in Oregon, California and Texas have BRTs and they have had great success. This mode of transportation uses dedicated lanes and signaling systems to decrease travel time.

From an accessibility standpoint, BRTs have wider doorways and have zero-incline entrances for people with disabilities. Tie-down systems have also improved making it easier for drivers to secure wheelchairs. The accessibility of these busses will make traveling with a disability a lot easier.

Bus Rapid Transit in San Bernardino, California

Bus Rapid Transit in San Bernardino, California

Although it’s exciting to see what the future holds for transportation in Charleston, there is still a long way to go before we see these new buses. It’s estimated to be 7-10 years before the approximately $365 million system is up and running. CARTA, Tri-County Link and the Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston Council of Governments are among the organizations working on this project.

For more information about I-26Alt, go to www.i26alt.org. Take a look at the video from ABC News 4 where I talked about the importance of accessible transportation (the reporter inadvertently gave me a new last name in the video): http://abcnews4.com/news/local/365-million-plan-to-lighten-i-26-traffic-would-focus-on-more-buses.

 

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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4 Responses to Improving transportation in Charleston

  1. Doug Palmer says:

    Hi, Alex. This is Doug, one of your SCI study partners at MN Dept. of Health. I hope that the BRT system will come to Charleston. In lobbying for it, you must be sure to insist upon effective safety systems for all, but especially the disabled. Our new LRT in St. Paul has proved a safety nightmare, killing a distracted pedestrian every few weeks. An especially egregious event happened early this winter, when a man in a motorized wheelchair, waiting for the LRT, plunged in front of the train when he tried to position himself to enter, from a poorly designed and unmaintained ramp only the breadth of his wheelchair that was covered with un-cleared snow and ice! Our Port Authority’s only response to these tragedies has been to post “Safety is Your Responsibility” signs on the ramps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Doug, for sharing the photo. It looks like a neat system. Hopefully, those problems can be resolved and it will be safe for everyone.

    Like

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