Above, Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit members at SC State Capital
The “Complete Streets” Bill, H 3656, was amended and Unanimously passed out of the Transportation Subcommittee of the Education and Public Works Committee of the South Carolina House of representatives after a contested hearing where advocates for reducing the toll of deaths and injuries suffered by Pedestrians, Transit Riders and Cyclists from across SC. Rep. Marvin Pendavis probed the State Department of Transportation with a courtroom like examination. The bill will now go to the full committee for Consideration and if passed there, on to the House of Representatives for debate and vote.
Transit Advocate and Attorney, William Hamilton will be on OHM Radio in Charleston at 4 pm on Wednesday, March 27 talking about yesterdays hearing and how the struggle moves forward towards the full house, Senate and Governor’s office.
The bill requires the State Department of Transportation to adopt a “Complete Streets” policy to support planning for sidewalks, transit stops and bicycle lanes so that safe multimodal use of our roadways will be possible where appropriate. SC Currently has one of the highest rates of injury for pedestrians (including people walking to bus stops) and cyclists in the US. Charleston County has a pedestrian and cyclist injury rate three times that of any other country in the state. This makes it a struggle for transit riders to reach bus stops, making our transit system less effective.
You can view hearing testimony by Milicent Middleton (Johns island) and Janet Dieckmann (Sangaree, Berkeley County) online.
The fight for better transit and safer ways to reach transit stops will continue Saturday, March 30 from 11 am to 4 pm in the BI-LO parking lot at 3575 Maybank Highway on Johns Island, SC when Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit holds the Sea Island Transit Funfest. This free event will over family activities including a map participants can mark to show government officials where bus stops should be located and an activity to make “Bus Stop Bus” flags to flag down John’s Island’s unreliable Tri County Link Bus Service. Tri Coounty LInk lacks fixed stop and bus stop signs in most locations. Participants will also be able to send messages to Rep. Robert L. Brown, a member of the Committee that considered the bill on Tuesday and who represents Johns Island, but who was not present for the hearing and has not yet cosponsored the bill. Button Making, a cookout, DJ and banner painting will be some of the other activities at the Transit Funfest.
John’s Island’s roads are horrific for pedestrians, transit riders and cyclists. Long, dark stretches of road without sidewalks or bike lanes have taken many lives and the home-made memorials of wooden crosses and white painted “ghost bikes” line roads for miles, giving the impression of passing through a cemetery when they are traveled. Tri County Link’s bus lines lack stops or safe ways to reach the few roads the buses are supposed to run on.
For more information on Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit’s activities contact Executive Director William Hamilton at (843) 870-5299 or see www.bfltransit.com.
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