Interesting concept from the Netherlands:
“Smart Highway is an innovative concept for smart roads of tomorrow. A programme of innovation that links a different way of looking at things….”
Follow this link: http://www.smarthighway.net/
Start planning now for a self driving car / autonomous infrastructure. Development of new roadways will take years and will be costly. Let’s just jump to what is coming and be ahead of the curve.
Blow up the draw bridge. In its place put in a permanent bridge with bike lanes.
I like the beautification idea, but all bus stops should have a bench with a roof for shelter from the sun and rain, a map with a bus schedule, and a trash can.
We have been voted a favorite city for more and more things. Tourists are flooding here, literally, by the bus load. We have GOT to do something about busy intersections where lots of cars AND people need to get through. Cumberland at E Bay is a good example. You can’t turn right onto E Bay from either side when the light is red. Then, when the (ridiculously short) light finally changed, 76 people cross the street, and only three cars get through. It’s not only frustrating, it’s dangerous. The solution is rather simple, and it’s done in cities all over the country: both streets’ lights stay red for 15-20 seconds while pedestrians are allowed to cross both directions. Simple, and I venture a guess that I am not the only one who wouldn’t mind waiting 15-20 extra seconds so I could make a turn without wanting to shoot someone.
Create one or more elevated walk ways over Calhoun St. in the vicinity of the College of Charleston as a safety protection for students and other pedestrians. In turn, traffic flow in this busy section will be greatly enhanced. Another improvement would be to install timed right and left turn traffic signal lights at Calhoun and King Streets to lessen traffic congestion, driver uncertainty, and constant lane shifting by drivers.
Since Kirkland Lane may be repaved soon, why not transform an ugly 12′ wide alley into an enchanting brick or cobblestone lane, correcting all the public utilities at the same time? With no room for sidewalks, the bricks or cobblestones would slow vehicles making the street safer for pedestrians. I have heard that historic ballast stones may be stored somewhere in the city and they could be put to use. Does anyone know? This one-block long, narrow street with little to no through traffic could be transformed into a lovely oasis midway between the city market and Colonial Lake at the same time that the severe flooding problems are improved. The volunteer “trash” trees that have sprouted along the margins, whose roots have caused the asphalt to heave and damaged privately-owned walls, could be replaced with more appropriate species. Since the low spot at the Beaufain Street end of the block must be elevated so that cars can pass safely during periods of heavy rain, this job already requires more than just a new coat of asphalt. SCE&G has mentioned plans to improve the gas line under the street, so now would be the time. CPW will need to repair the caved in storm water drain pipes between catch basins, so perhaps the size of the catch basins could be increased at the same time. While they are at it, the water supply lines could be enlarged to solve the low water pressure on the street. If I were Mayor, I would be sure to coordinate all the improvements.
Require developers to fund, and build bus stops/shelters near larger developments/apartments (Much like MTP’s ideas.
Everyone talks about how important alternative transportation ought to be. Have you ridden a bus lately?
Here are my suggestions:
1. Improve signage at every stop. Announce that location to drivers and riders. The first stop at the Citadel shopping center approach is a motel sign. Who would know?
2. Post a stop schedule for that stop or a nearby stop at every stop. It can be a stick-on, easily changed.
3. Provide contact information for CARTA at every stop. If you are standing there and wondering why the bus is 15 minutes late, what can you do?
4. Update the scheduled stop times. I have arrived 10 minutes early at Citadel shopping center after leaving 5 minutes late from Meeting and Wentworth.
5. Size down the buses. They’re too big, empty and expensive to repair.
6. Examine routing. Add and subtract according to user needs. Tally ridership closely.
7. Ask the customers! Campaign in media to learn more and attract more customers.
8. Require dispatchers to meet schedules, or find out why they can’t.
9. Add express buses for commuters from Goose Creek/Summerville/West Ashley.
10. Get on board!
Buses with High Level of Service (BHLS) offers a good strategy for Charleston and the needed expansion of the public transit system. This bus system is cost effective, more flexible, and looks specifically to increase ridership. The International Association of Public Transit (UITP) has a great report [click here] on BHLS at www.uitp.org (or search for BHLS Cost Final Report).
In Charleston, BHLS implementation would require either adding new bus only lanes or converting existing lanes to bus only lanes. For downtown, there is simply no room for new lanes, but existing parking lanes could be converted into bus-only lanes during rush hour and parking only during off-peak hours. For I-26, either option is possible. A study is already underway (Click here for www.i26alt.org) investigating how bus routes can be incorporated.
BHLS would not only allow incoming residents to live further from the city center without adding to the traffic problem, but also encourage existing residents in surrounding areas to participate in the lively culture of Charleston without worry of parking, designated drivers, and mobility. Within the city center, BHLS would mean less congestion in the streets and less demand for parking from visitors, residents and students.
Let’s consider BHLS for Charleston!
Abandon the I-526 extension support. This project is too expensive vs. the good it supposedly will do. Instead, support the expansion of public transportation that will provide long-term, well paying jobs, that provide a needed service to everyone. This would include expanded bus service and light rail. To reduce traffic congestion let’s work on getting cars off the street and people on buses and trains rather than new roads. We can’t even maintain the roads we have now. Gas prices won’t remain low very long and when they go up, short-term thinking will have commuters complaining about the need for more public transportation. Let’s plan it now so we don’t have to overspend later.
Since the city buses never actually pull over into the bus stops, I would do away with all of them and create more parking. One bus stop would easily accommodate 2 cars.
Times Square is closed to cars– why not King St below Calhoun? It works on second Sundays and would make our signature street safer and more pleasant for tourists and residents alike. There are so few parking spaces on the street anyway and parking lots in every direction– plus traffic is always terrible. This would induce transit ridership, pedestrian and bike use, and parking outside of downtown. This change would also do away with the ridiculous bike parking restrictions!
There are ample ways to deal with deliveries/trash/etc. All side streets could have more reserved parking for delivery drivers and/or deliveries should be restricted to certain (off-peak) hours of the day. Perhaps King Street could open to trucks at this time, but ultimately, having the drivers park on side streets and walk a block is not a bad thing. Lower King is already a traffic mess most the time with at least one lane blocked; it's obvious that vehicles do not belong there.
In all the recent back-and-forth of ideas to alleviate some of the extreme overcrowding of DT streets, I have heard nothing about having the College of Charleston require their students to utilize satellite parking areas and take shuttles into the campus. As a former longtime resident of Harleston Village, I know all too well the flood of student vehicles which has for years clogged the streets of that and other adjacent neighborhoods. These students are by and large non-resident and pay nothing for the privilege of parking on and congesting the neighborhood streets.
Transportation: Take the eastern-most sidewalk on Meeting St, and subdivide it into a bike/walking lane (similar to the bridge).