Hundreds of cyclists and advocates rode across the North Bridge, connecting North Charleston and West Ashley Saturday, in a show of support for plans to make the road safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
At least 250 people turned out Saturday, according to organizers. Riding in a group with a police escort, from Freehouse Brewery across the bridge and back, supporters rode about eight miles total.
The ride was organized by Charleston Moves, a transportation advocacy group, in an effort to demonstrate support from residents interested in improving safety across the Ashley River.
“It was abundantly clear, based on the number of people who showed up (especially in the face of rain!), that a better North Bridge is important to the community on both sides of the river for an abundance of reasons,” Charleston Moves executive director Katie Zimmerman told the City Paper Monday. “And folks didn’t just ride their bikes — they filled out county surveys, volunteered to place yard signs and provided testimonials about the need for safe bike/ped access at the North Bridge crossing.”
Currently, there are no sidewalks or emergency lanes that allow people to safely pass over the bridge without riding in a vehicle.
Charleston County is currently studying the corridor, along with improvements to connecting intersections on Azalea Drive, with the possibility of building a dedicated pedestrian bridge across the river.
Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority started free service over the bridge Sunday, between bus stops along Cosgrove Avenue in North Charleston and West Ashley.
A few miles down the river, funding has been approved for a dedicated bike and pedestrian bridge, connecting downtown to West Ashley. That project is working its way through approvals between the City of Charleston and the federal Department of Transportation.