Charleston ready to bike and walk safely across the Ashley River

Gotcha Bike, Crews Subaru of Charleston and Charleston Moves have teamed up to offer the Charleston community a host of diverse programming throughout the month of May for Bike Month CHS. The most anticipated event is Bike to Work Day:

Friday, May 19, 7:30 am

Meet behind Half-Moon Outfitters in West Ashley

94 Folly Road Boulevard

Breakfast provided by Harold’s Cabin and Huriyali

Coffee provided by Counter Culture Coffee

The police-escorted route will leave from South Windermere Shopping Center along Folly Road Boulevard, across the Legare Bridge, exiting onto Bee Street. From there, riders will go south on Rutledge Avenue where the ride ends at Cannon Park.

Riders will include several enthusiastic elected officials. Mayor John Tecklenburg of the City of Charleston asserts, “As one study after another has shown, bike-ped access and infrastructure are critical to our city’s transportation future. And I hope that everyone who's interested will join me in participating in Charleston Moves' Bike to Work Day event on Friday, May 19th."

According to Katie Zimmerman, Executive Director of Charleston Moves, “The Bike to Work Day ride across the Legare Bridge is significant: specifically, because we will ride in the lane that was promised over a decade ago to people who want to walk and bike safely across the Ashley River, and symbolically, because riders will represent the overwhelming majority of Charlestonians who have requested a safe and connected Ashley River crossing.”

A safe crossing of the Legare Bridge for non-motorists has been formally recommended since the 1970s. Three studies have been funded and conducted since 2006, with positive results. Based on information provided through several Freedom of Information Act requests to the County and City of Charleston, supporters of the Legare Bridge lane conversion for bicycles and pedestrians outnumber naysayers by a ratio of approximately 10:1. In spite of this momentum, County Council recently began delaying the project, requesting more approvals and more studies. “That means constituents are risking their lives crossing the Ashley River by bike or by foot because a vocal minority has hijacked the project,” explains Zimmerman.

Charleston City Councilmember and West Ashley Revitalization Commission Chairman Peter Shahid points out that citizens who participated in the recent Plan West Ashley workshops identified connectivity as one of their priorities in improving West Ashley. “It’s difficult to envision a connected and improved West Ashley if we exclude safe bicycle and pedestrian access across the Ashley River. We will fail to provide equitable opportunities to folks to travel between downtown and West Ashley, without a bicycle and pedestrian lane.” Charleston City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tempore Mike Seekings takes it further, asserting that “Charleston will continue to be stuck in the 20th century without safe crossing for all. Once we can bike, walk, and run across the Ashley River, it will be a game-changer. People will quickly understand what we’ve been missing all these years.”

While Friday’s event focuses on crossing the Ashley River, every person who supports being able to safely bike or walk to work, particularly across Charleston’s numerous bridges, should participate in 2017’s Bike to Work Day for Bike Month CHS. Some riders will commute by bicycle as they do every day, and for some riders, it will be their first time biking to work. All are celebrated.

A police-escorted ride home will also occur:

Friday, May 19, 6 pm

Meet at Marion Square near the corner of King and Calhoun Streets

The police-escorted route will leave from Marion Square, going north on King Street, then west on Congress Street. We will then go south on Hagood Avenue, and west on Fishburne Street until it becomes Lockwood Drive. We will wait at the playground at Brittlebank Park for any other riders to join us from the western side of the peninsula. Leaving from the playground at Brittlebank Park around 6:30 pm, we will then continue on Lockwood, going west onto the Ashley River Memorial Bridge, then heading south onto Wesley Drive and Folly Road, back to Windermere Boulevard. The ride ends behind Half-Moon Outfitters where we started that morning.

The full Bike Month CHS calendar of events with details can be found at CharlestonMoves.org/Bike-Month.

Bike Month CHS sponsors:

Charleston Moves​ is a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and community leadership to transform Charleston County into a bike and pedestrian-friendly region. CharlestonMoves.org

Gotcha Bike​ provides real-life, real-time brand experiences through sustainable transportation, targeted placement, and trusted community influencers. GotchaBike.com

The Subaru Love Promise is a simple proposition – to always do what is right, and support our community. Crews Subaru​ has always embraced this concept. CharlestonSubaru.com