The future of mobility in downtown Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The City of Charleston along with the Historic Charleston Foundation are co-sponsoring a peninsula mobility presentation Wednesday night.

The guest speaker, Gabe Klein, was the former Director of Transportation in Chicago and Washington D.C.

City officials say Klein is known for implementing a variety of creative transportation improvements in very urban conditions. Over the next several months, Klein will be helping the city with a mobility strategy for the Peninsula.

"The peninsula of Charleston is unique. As you know, most of the streets were built in the 18th and 19th century. They are narrow streets so they get congested and create unique problems in a growing city where people can get around," City of Charleston Director of Planning, Tim Keane said.

This will be Klein's first visit to Charleston and in his public presentation he will talk about his work in other cities and first impressions of Charleston.

"We've got to stay focused on the fact that downtown Charleston is a relatively urban place where alternate modes of transportation are the way to go as much as you can and that is our challenge and what Gabe is going to help us with," Keane said.

City officials project in the next 15 years the population of the Peninsula will climb from 35,000 to 60,000 people. Keane said traffic relief in the future will rely on more people walking and biking around town or using public transportation instead of driving a car.

"We all are going to have to work on this together because the community is going to have to get behind this idea that we need a carved out space for buses and bicycles and that is a challenging thing because it can increase congestion in some areas."

Keane said the City is currently working on a bike share program that should be up and running within the next year.

The event is being held at The Charleston Museum's auditorium at 6 p.m. located at 350 Meeting Street.