A pedestrian and cycling advocacy group says the planned $7.5 million overhaul of Coleman Boulevard is a strong step forward, but it needs some revision.
Specifically, Charleston Moves is concerned about the location of a bike lane that's just to the left of parallel parking. The group also is worried about the apparent absence of crosswalks along the route and the placement of a large roundabout.
"Looking ahead toward improvements in the plan, Charleston Moves will support a plan that slows traffic, improves flow, provides safe designated bicycle lanes, pedestrian areas and crosswalks, that knits communities together," Charleston Moves wrote in a one-page position paper delivered to Mayor Billy Swails today.
The revamp calls for bike lanes, on-street parking, a center parkway and a huge roundabout at Coleman, Chuck Dawley and Ben Sawyer boulevards. The overhaul also would do away with a turn lane that stretches the entire corridor. That means fewer left-hand turns, which has been a concern for some businesses.
The group says, overall, it likes the Coleman project, and they don't want naysayers to slow down Coleman's progress. They say the overhaul of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard was a designed with a "cars-only" mentality that will result in a "massive 10-lane asphalt scar dividing Mount Pleasant."
"Our No. 1 area of concern for this project … are the very specific interests who are losing the broader vision of this project," said Stephanie Hunt, chair of Charleston Moves.
Though Charleston Moves wants the town to stay focused on slowing traffic along Coleman and making it more friendly for pedestrians, shoppers and school children, they don't want the council to water down their efforts by trying to please everyone.
"The town should listen to everyone, but they can't concede to everyone," said Hunt, whose husband owns a medical practice on Coleman.
Town Council has already approved the Coleman Boulevard overhaul in concept. It is currently before the South Carolina Department of Transportation for review.
Changes, however, can be made to the plan, and a Wednesday meeting is the last chance for residents to make public comment on the revitalization.
IF YOU GO
What: A special called council meeting to address Coleman Blvd.
When: 6 p.m., Wednesday
Where: Town Hall Gym, 100 Ann Edwards Lane
What's next: Though the council has already voted to accept the plans as is, some elements may change based on public comment. Written comments may still be accepted.
More information: View the agenda attached to this story.