What We Need to Do
|Millicent Middleton, Sea Island Unit Transit Advocate|
The people of Ladson, Lincolnville and Summerville have the rights to demand a Bus Rapid Transit Line to Charleston which runs in its own, dedicated lanes, has comfortable stations and completes the trip in 59 minutes as promised in the I26 alt study . We must demand that now, before July 10, 2020 through their “LCRT online meeting” and our own socially distanced advocacy. We’re asking you to submit your comments at their online meeting and paste copies of what you tell them into the comments here so we can share it with other.
Transit Advocates Discover Unrest in the Land of the Cars
|Pendarvis Campaign working on Rivers Ave.|
Despite the fading exurban landscape (now turning into subdivisions and apartments) and abundance of pickup trucks, people along Highway 78 were ready for transit. In Lincolnville, we met people who had moved here from New York to take care of elderly family members and become imprisoned in immobility. We found the area’s largest business incubator, not in a shiny government subsidized building downtown, but in the Ladson Flea Market. They were ready. Nobody had even talked to Lincolnville about the project which was to pass through their town, but they were ready. They reminded us their town had been founded by African Americans who sought freedom with their own, independent town and mobility through their connection to the Railroad. In downtown Summerville we found a business district struggling with parking and traffic issues full of people ready to ride.
|Transit Advocates in downtown Summerville.|
|Carol Dotterer with BRT Survey mark|
For the elderly, poor, disabled, and young who don’t have access to the automobile. Survival is a humiliating marathon of begging for rides, calling Uber and doing without. There are desperately needed affordable apartments in Lincolnville sitting empty because you cannot survive there without a car and many elderly people have outlived or live far from their families. For the carless of Ladson, trip the grocery store is a goal requiring days of planning for the starts to align. A trip for pleasure or to explore the landscape tourists travel from around the world to see is an unimaginable luxury. The precious begged for rides must be conserved for the doctor, pharmacy and store. If you can walk to the LINK route, the bus may not show up at all or simply drive past. There is no bench or shelter to wait.
LinLadSum Does Not Have to be this Way
It does not have to be this way. Ladson, Lincolnville and Summerville have public transit which would embarrass a third world country. We’ve met people who know from personal experience that it is inferior to what they have in Ethiopia. Our Latino friends in Ladson assure it Brazil is better.
|BLFT staff with transit planning activity|
The voters of Charleston County have already appropriated 250 million dollars to build and operate a Bus Rapid Transit Line to Summerville in their 2016 half penny sales tax referendum. The people of Ladson and Lincolnville have been paying for it with higher sales taxes since May of 2017. In Summerville, the tiny section needed probably doesn’t require a bond referendum.
We were promised a trip from downtown Charleston to Summerville in 59 minutes. Recently the Convil of Governments has proposed a system which runs in ordinary traffic from Charleston Southern to the edge of Downtown Summerville. Politicians in Summerville have proposed a Park and Ride lot on 5th Avenue which would be five long blocks from Hutchison Square. The fact that someone might want to walk to or from the Bus Rapid Tranist system to downtown Summerville doesn’t seem to matter to them. They’re building a system for people to drive cars to parking lots to fit in the car saturated world they feel secure in.
|Lincolnville Town Hall|
A few weeks ago, Lowcountry Up is Good, a locally based political action committee leafleted parts of Ladson in a lightening storm with the help of young volunteers organized by Linda Saylor. It was the last day before the election. When we told the kids there was no tomorrow, to just come back in. They asked if their efforts might decide the election. I told them they could. They hurled the doors of the van open and visited 250 houses in the driving rain while thunder and lighting blasted around them.
Those young people deserve a world they can grow in, explore, and prosper in. It we build a world which doesn’t do that, they’ll destroy us and build their own. The tired priorities of old men who like things as they are, slow, isolating and dysfunctional, need to get out of the way.
What LinLadSum Residents Need to Do Now
Go to their online LCRT meeting.Demand what you have paid for and been promised:
Rapid transit operations in dedicated lanes on Highway 78 from River’s Ave to the edge of Downtown Summerville.
Help us get their attention
- Safe, comfortable, lighted stops which can be reached safely from the side of the road.
- A system which can complete the trip from Line Street in downtown Charleston to downtown Summerville in 59 minutes.
- Service all the way to Hutchison Square in Downtown Summerville with a stop in the business district near there.
- Connecting Service in downtown Charleston at a safe, comfortable station on Line Street which connects to Folly Beach and the Isle of Palms.
If you want something more, don’t stop there. If you are in Ridgeville, tell them it needs to come to where you live. Linda Saylor and the lightning crew are working for you in Summerville, but they need a lot of help.
We have other blogs with more information on this project:
- Dhaka BRT Line 3 (Gazipur to Airport) If you think USA is #1, get a stiff drink before watching this. This is state of the art BRT.
- Transit Enable the Lowline A look at the big mistake being planned for the South end of the BRT line.
- Progress is Possible (General Overview)
- Lowcountry Futurescape
- Christian King answers 10 questions about transit, the best Candidate response we've ever received.
|Proterra Electric Bus made in SC|
William J. Hamilton, III
Executive Director, Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit