King is the first of over 100 Candidates for Mayor and Town or City Council in the Lowcountry to answer all ten questions in written form. Mayor Techlenberg, who sometimes sits on the CARTA Board and Mike Seekings, member of Charleston City Council, Chairman of the CARTA Board and Candidate for Mayor have both not yet provided answers to these questions, including the critical Low Line. Seekings is alleged to have said he's been given a dozen copies of the questions by voters.
King will be available to respond to press inquiries about her answers to the questions at 8 am at the Citadel Mall Bus Stop before departing for downtown Charleston on the #33 Bus at 8:23 am. She will arrive at the Mary Street Transit Center at 8:55 am and be available for interviews there for as long as needed. You can see the trip itinerary on Google Maps.
King can be reached for comment today by phone at (843) 442-6079. Her full answers to all ten questions are set out below verbatim, formatted with images added by Best Friends.,
Answers of Christian King
Do you favor locating the bus rapid transit line on the old railroad line running into Charleston (site of the proposed Lowline park) or do you believe that it and its stations should be located in traffic on Meeting Street?
I am very much in favor of locating the bus rapid transit line on the old railroad line running into Charleston. I agree that it makes common senses and the best use of funds now and the future to use the abandoned railroad right of way beneath I26 offers the opportunity for a faster trip downtown and space for functional stations to connect with free DASH bus service, regular CARTA bus service to Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley & James Island, Bike Share and services like Uber. All of this can be combined with a pleasant, useful linear park and bikeway using the rail line and space in the existing, but little used "park" under I26. It is quite obvious there is no space in the Meeting Street right of way to put stations and locations for other transit services to transfer passengers.
This common-sense proposal of a distance of an uninterrupted BRT trip on a dedicated transit line is being supplanted by a proposed Low Line Park. According to their website, the proposal is from a group called the Friends of Lowcountry Low Line who purchased the property from Norfolk Southern.(This portion-does not make sense to me. Why did they do they or who selected the board) Their focus per the website to be in creating an economic output. This focus concerns me because of our Community mindset and our community goals need to be about more than just the dollars and sense of Economic Development. Our leadership in this community needs to be about more than just the dollars and sense of Economic Development.
Our leadership and especially the leadership of District 7 on Charleston City Council MUST reprioritize the balance between money and people...and it MUST be done now before yet another generation of young people behind. PEOPLE must come FIRST!
There are many adults in our community who have already been left behind by decades of our City government focusing solely on the dollars and sense of Economic Development. For many of those people who have been left behind, there is simply no way to fix this. We can help them to survive in this world that left them out, but our primary effort NOW must be that of building strong capable children for the future of our community, and that is what MY life's work has always been about.
Finally, this quote is taken from the website of the Friends of Lowcountry Low Line who purchased the property from Norfolk Southern: The late Jane Jacobs, author, and champion of community-based approaches to city planning, wrote that "Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." However, I am sorry that I was not aware of this issue earlier to promote the essential open, public discussion of this issue and clear standards be obtained before the November 5th election.
2. Will you commit to holding a public hearing to hear the public’s concerns and consider written materials presented. prior to your council’s vote on approving or disapproving the CARTA annual budget?
Yes, I will commit to holding a public hearing to hear the public consider written materials presented, prior to your council’s vote on approving or disapproving the CARTA annual budget. I will also hold quarterly meetings and input sessions in various communities of my district to hear their concerns, issues, and suggestions about CARTA. Actually, I think all of the City Council should spend a day twice a year riding the bus line from their home to understand the challenges their constituents face and if elected I will make that proposal.
3. Do you believe the rapid transit line should reach downtown Summerville or are you willing to let it end at the Charleston County line? I believe the Rapid Transit Line should reach downtown, Summerville.
The rapid population growth and the need for affordable housing is pushing more and more people to outer areas, such as Summerville to live. But they are still working in Charleston. To help reduce traffic congestion the rapid transit line needs to go all the way downtown.
4. Do you believe the rapid transit line should run in segregated lanes on Highway 78 or are you willing to have it operate in traffic from Rivers? Ave. to Merlin G. Myers parkway outside Summerville?
I believe that the rapid transit line should run in segregated lanes on Highway 78. Have you ever seen Fairground Traffic? To have it operate in traffic from Rivers will defeat the purpose.
5. What do you believe should be done to assure that affordable housing is constructed within walkable distance (a half-mile) of the rapid transit line, including the location of the old Navy Hospital in N. Charleston
Planning and zoning using allow more density in areas that will allow it. Plans should be in place for permanently affordable housing and mix-use housing areas. Also, tiny homes and other creative use should be considered.
6. Do you support the implementation of a complete streets standard in the area you would represent accommodating pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders?
Yes, this is very similar to what Charleston Moves asked me and answer to them and now is Yes, I would work to support the implementation of a complete street standard in my area that would represent accommodating pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.
7. Will you support requiring developers to build sheltered bus stops and pull outs as part of their development agreement with your Town, City or County?
Yes!! Regardless of the outcome of this election, I am going to work with BFOLT as a priority issue for my community. There are too many members of my community, traveling to and from work having to stand in the elements while waiting on the bus while other areas especially in tourist areas who are very comfortable.
8. Do you support returning regular scheduled public transit bus service to one of our local beaches three days a week, Friday, Sat. and Sunday for 12 hours a day with service not less than once an hour starting no later than Memorial Day Weekend, 2020 and to operate said service until the last Sunday prior to Oct. 1 of the year? Yes!! I have you seen the traffic during that time of year?
What a difference it would make if we could reduce the number of vehicles going there. I believe that it will also increase the number of low wealth community members access as well. Also, this bus service would also eliminate the problem with finding parking and the schedule of parking.
9. Would you support repeal of the “Pay Go” plan and restoration of full funding for improvements in regular bus service, raising the money available to improve CARTA and Link service within Charleston County from the current level of 3 million dollars per year to 14 million dollars per year.?
Yes, we need to spend the money now and provided full funding for improvements in regular bus service,tackle the unreliable service, increase frequency and extend hours, especially on the Citadel Mall-Sam Rittenberg-North Charleston-route that was suggested by CAJM in May.
The pago plan is currently diverting 11 million dollars and bus funding a year to road construction. We do need more roads West Ashley, however in many areas there is no more Room for significant new road capacity. Improving transit is the only way we get to reduce congestion that building new roads to undeveloped areas which creates more sprawl and more traffic instead of making sure the area's current residents who are paying sales taxes have better transit service. Failure to provide an increase in higher funding for Carta is irresponsible and unfair to the people who voted for the referendum. We need to improve basic bus service West Ashley with money the voters appropriated for that purpose in 2016. We need to spend the money now because 14 Million today is worth far more than five years from now. The funds are available-use them now. The citizens of West Ashley deserves those services.
10. Will you commit to a plan to complete and commence operations no later than Nov. 2023 on the bus rapid transit line serving Summerville, Lincolnville, Ladson, N. Charleston, the Neck and Charleston. Yes, I will definitely commit to a plan to complete and commence operations no later than Nov. 2023 on the bus rapid transit line serving Summerville, Lincolnville, Ladson, N. Charleston.
I am so disappointed that we could not have taken Indianapolis example and already have ours in place. . Indianapolis voted to build its bus rapid transit line the same day Charleston County did in Nov. 2016. Operations commenced there in Sept. 2019, 2 years agn ten months after vote approval. Plans for our line anticipate a 9 year planning and construction process the longest such process we know of anywhere on Earth for a project of this type.