Image by Ken Hawkins/Staff
Update May 26: The S.C. Department of Transportation has continued to resist the addition of bike lanes to Maybank Highway, and pro-bike groups are calling for a shakeup at the agency. The Post and Courier has the story.
First reporting: The Charleston biking community petitioned to have bike lanes included in an upcoming restriping of Maybank Highway and, despite recent changes to federal priorities, the request was turned down.
The site BikeCharleston.org says, "Despite the USDOT's new policy, signed into effect March 11, 2010, giving equal consideration to cars, bikes and pedestrians, the SCDOT has opted NOT to provide bike lanes. The USDOT policy states, 'Transportation agencies should give the same priority to walking and bicycling as is given to other transportation modes. Walking and bicycling should not be an afterthought in roadway design.'"
So the group is bouncing back and hopes to collect 5,000 signatures for Mayor Joe Riley’s desk by Monday, March 29. -- That's just four days.
Update April 11: Somehow my best intentions to update this got lost in the shuffle, but the results are in: 1,980 signatures.
Short of the stated goal of 5,000, but still an impressive count for an effort that ran for less than a week.
Also worth pointing out is that Charleston Mayor Joe Riley penned a letter of support to the S.C. DOT and these renderings of proposed options that wouldn't require widening of the road.
Update March 27: Nearly 48 hours in, the group is nearing 1,000 online signatures and has begun to distribute paper-based petitions.
If you haven't already, sign the online petition.
Meanwhile, The Post and Courier has penned an editorial advocating for the continued implementation of bike routes, and justly argues that we've reached a point where they need more support from mayors.
That column references an editorial by the chairman of Charleston County Council, Teddie E. Pryor, you can read it here. Also referenced is a study that pointed out how little South Carolina spends on bike facilities, you can read more about that study here.