Charleston traffic solution has been a big topic here in the Lowcountry lately. With tourism even bigger and better than ever, and with the population expected to reach one million by the year 2027, it's no wonder that traffic is on everyone's mind. As reported by the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the City of Charleston has listened to residents' concerns and has partnered with the Historic Charleston Foundation to hire Gabe Klein, the former transportation director for Chicago and Washington, D.C., to help develop a transportation strategy.
"We have 18th- and 19th-century streets; that's all we're going to have, 18th- and 19th-century streets in downtown Charleston, so it makes a big challenge in a growing city and region to handle transportation," says Charleston planning director Tim Keane. "We think that the priority...is that you have to drive less. If you live downtown, more and more people can drive less, and more and more people can live without a car." The solution, says Keane, is public transportation that residents and visitors will be happy to use, and better bike facilities and safer sidewalks for pedestrians.
In order to enforce new and existing transportation rules for carriages, bike taxis, and buses, the city is also hiring three new tourism enforcement officers under the Department of Planning, Preservation, and Sustainability.
Though we have no current solution to traffic issues, concerned residents can rest easy knowing that the city is actively working to resolve the problem.
The committee formed to update the city's Tourism Management Plan is expected to finish by the end of the year and present recommendations to the tourism commission and City Council in early 2015.