Downtown Charleston bike parking ordinance could cost you $45

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S. C (WCIV)-- After a month of officers issuing warnings, a new bike parking ordinance went into effect Friday in downtown Charleston.

The ordinance keeps bicyclists on King Street, between Calhoun and Spring streets, from parking anywhere except on a bike rack.

Officials said if you lock your bike on a pole, tree or meter, the bike will be taken to police headquarters and you will have to pay a $45 recovery fee.

"We will remove the bike by defeating the lock," said Sergeant Heath King, of the Charleston Police Department.

Sergeant King said the ordinance was a response to many King Street businesses complaining about cyclists leaving bikes across the sidewalks, which affects foot traffic for local businesses.

Cyclists like Derrick Lloyd agree with local businesses.

"It makes perfect sense, bikes are left all over the place," he said. "Sometimes you walk down the street and bikes are everywhere and they are left overnight or a few days."

Even though Lloyd agrees with the law, he thinks one issue must be addressed first.

"The problem I see is, they don't have enough bike racks," he said.

Sergeant King said the city put up 160 individual bike racks before the law cycled into effect on Friday.


Still, cyclists like Lacey Heffernan, a College of Charleston student, said King Street is full of places to ride but few places to park.

"I ride my bike to school every day and there definitely is not enough bike racks and I usually put my bike on a pole because the racks are full," she said.

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