After very limited consultation with our membership within Best Friends of Lowcoutnry Transit came up with three major suggestions regarding the redevelopment of Rivers Ave. and McMillan, including the area round the old Navy Hospital, former Shipwatch Square and closed Kmart.
Grade Separated Transit Access- Keeping Riders Safe
|Map of Planning Area in N. Chas.|
Spaces to transfer to and from BRT, regular bus service, rideshare and private vehicles (kiss riders) would need to be planned so that pedestrians can avoid crossing traffic lanes to the greatest extent possible.
|Bus Stop, Mt. Pleasant, SC|
It would be possible to bring the BRT up to an above grade station so that it avoids conflicts with traffic at that intersection as well, creating an above grade streetscape dedicated to rapid transit and pedestrians. This is an expensive option, but it would transform the region's mobility with a vastly better gateway experience to the community. Ordinary pedestrain overpasses would be functional at lower cost.
Cultural IncubatorRising rent, parking and space costs are making downtown Charleston a less practical place for young creatives to establish themselves. Youth oriented cultural activities are also leaving the old City and becoming disbursed to suburban areas where they find their market.
|Youth planning transit system|
All of this would be linked by the planned Bus Rapid Transit Line to the established performance spaces and tourism entertainment market in downtown Charleston. An actor, musician or stage technician could reach work at the Dock Street Theater or a downtown Hotel in 25 minutes without any need for a car.
Meanwhile, small, modestly scaled studio and performance spaces at McMillian would allow younger creatives to put on events there with a local focus at low cost. They could find affordable housing with walking distance. This would be accessible to young artists in the already existing surrounding communities as well.
We've seen projects like this in other cities. Most were built around performance spaces of 99 audience seats or less and bare bones studio space. Regular co working spaces were usually found nearby. I've been to one such space in Seattle- http://www.12avearts.org/ and another in Philadelphia where the entire complex, including three functional performance spaces was inside a former town house on a street with no parking.