Signs forbidding cycling soon to be posted on connector

Illegal Cycling on James Island Connector

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Bicycles are illegal on the James Island Connector, but the law has yet to be enforced.

"It's not a new thought," said Director of Charleston Moves, Tom Bradford. "It's been in play for 18 years since the connector was built and frankly the blame for all this back and forth really lies at the feet of SC DOT, which built a road with no provisions for cyclists and pedestrians."

Mayor Riley agrees that it was not a priority when the connector was built and said, "The bottom line is that the highway was not designed for bike or pedestrian use, unfortunately. The DOT, as the owner of the highway if you will, has felt a responsibility to post it."

The City of Charleston has been working with the SC Department of Transportation on the signage. It is still uncertain when the signs will be posted.

Mayor Riley says the new law will be enforced after a certain grace period, but that it won't be law enforcement's top priority.

In the meantime, Mayor Riley has been working on adding a bicycle lane to the Ashley River Bridge.

"Charleston Moves was delighted to get the news that eventually we'll get one lane over the Ashley River between West Ashley and downtown," Bradford said. "That still does not get people safely between downtown Charleston and James Island, so we are gonna have to continue to work on that. We are going to have to continue to put pressure on SCDOT and the city to solve this in some way."

Bradford thinks the connector itself, may be a solution, but the mayor disagrees.

The SCDOT Law states that "No person, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, shall occupy any space within the limits of the roadway and shoulders of the main facility of a freeway".

He feels like we need to continue to make our city more friendly toward other modes of transportation, besides cars.

"We are really working hard on lots of bike and pedestrian improvements in the community and this underscores the need for that, Mayor Riley said.

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