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Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning
The City of Charleston Century V Plan emphasizes the need for a transportation network that includes all modes of travel. As the Charleston area grows, it is increasingly important to plan for bicycle and pedestrian access through the City and the region. Bicycle parking is located in the parking

Access for bicycles and pedestrians is a necessary element of the City's street network. A network of streets that are designed to accommodate all modes of transportation is essential to providing mode choice, connectivity and safe access. The context of the neighborhood should be incorporated into the design considerations of streets and other corridors.

From the Century V Plan

Mobility Goal
Seek to offer as many choices for mobility in the City as possible, from modes to routes

Bicycle & Pedestrian Mobility
No range of mobility choices is complete until the City provides a full range of safe and convenient routes for bicyclists and pedestrians. The City has seen a surge in bicycling and walking throughout Charleston.

Some Charlestonians that bike or walk do so for recreation/exercise and other as a means of commuting to work or errands. and commute by foot or bike. This City Plan Update recommends improvements in bicycle and pedestrian facilities that will help both of these types of users.

New streets should always include provisions for bicyclists and pedestrians and existing roadways should be retrofitted as funds permit. Utility corridors and rail corridors should be targeted for new off-street connections. These corridors are particularly useful for connecting parks, schools, libraries and other places children are trying to get to and from safely.

Bicycle & Pedestrian Recommendations
  1. Create and implement Street Standards and City policy that requires every street that is built to be a “complete street”, including facilities for all mobility types and with urban design elements that help to facilitate alternative modes of travel, such as street trees and on-street parking.  More on the City's Complete Streets initiative
  2. Implement the routes and improvements shown on the attached pedestrian and bike plan maps using a set of new Street Standards.
  3. Further enhance and update the proposed and planned network shown on the accompanying maps as funds permit.
  4. Work with the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Committee and community to encourage and facilitate multiple modes in every way possible.
  5. Ensure that the City’s pedestrian amenities accommodate all users, regardless of disability.
  6. Implement the recommendations of West Ashley Greenway Master Plan and continue efforts to improve facilities along its route.
  7. Construct the bicycle/pedestrian lane for the Ashley River Bridge.
  8. Establish an agreement with local utilities for use of utility corridors as walking and bicycling paths.
  9. Seek funding to support the aforementioned recommendations and improvements.
  10. The City should work to make sure that every residence in the City is within a half-mile (10 minute walk) of a dedicated bike and/or bike/ped facility.
  11. The City should analyze streets that are currently serving the greatest traffic volumes to assure that those streets are safe for pedestrians and bicyclists as well, and if not, target these streets for high priority pedestrian and bicycle improvements.


Streets are the best way to move about the City in a vehicle, by foot or on a bike. This requires a fully developed network of streets in each area of the City with attention to how new streets are designed and existing streets are improved.

Conflicts continue to occur between vehicles and pedestrians. There are still streets with higher volumes of traffic and intersections that are particularly dangerous. The City’s challenge is to adapt as conditions change always keeping in mind the public street must accommodate a variety of users.

Roadway improvements will need to always accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. Bike and pedestrian facilities will be an integral element of roadway design.

Street Design

To help balance the scales for pedestrians and bicyclists, street design standards need major upgrading. Current codes mirror those found around the country which are based on suburban or rural, vehicle only design types. The problem with these codes is that they almost never take the principles of walkability into account and instead move vehicles at the highest possible speed through the community.

In the City’s 2009 Citizens’ Survey, over 90% of respondents supported designing or retrofitting streets to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, as well as automobiles.

In addition, existing streets should be improved to provide convenient and safe sidewalk connections. Whenever streets are resurfaced in the City, lane widths should be analyzed with the goal of moving away from rural or suburban design standards. Where widths permit, bike lanes should be added on resurfaced streets via restriping with narrower lanes for vehicles.
Street trees should be added wherever possible; on-street parking added when appropriate and where widths will accommodate it; and the placement of future buildings should generally be at the back of the sidewalk.

Street Recommendations
  1. Design new streets and improve existing streets to accommodate walking, bicycling, and vehicle travel.
  2. Adopt the new draft Street Standards as the City’s policy for future street design and retrofit.
  3. Monitor all resurfacing of streets in the City for the possible inclusion of bike lanes where road widths allow. Work with SCDOT to accommodate non-standard lane widths where possible so that bike lanes can be included.
  4. Target transportation investments to enhance the existing transportation network. Coordiante these improvements with SCDOT, CHATS, and Charleston and Berkeley Counties.
  5. Prioritize improvements to existing thoroughfares and bottlenecks at major intersections and bridge locations.

Philip Overcash
Senior Planner

2 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Ph: 843-724-3788
Fx: 843-724-3772