Edwin Gardner Peninsula Task Force Mobility Sub-committee Report June 22, 2012
committee agreed that the peninsula has been vic
timized by a “microcosm” approach to
transportation policy (which oftentimes addresses the specific desires of individual neighborhoods) and that this pattern is not serving the city well
specifically, the current controversy about making Coming and St. Phillip Streets two-way in the vicinity of the College of Charleston campus illustrates this problem. The following recommendations should all become key components of the new mobility vision and plan for the peninsula: 1.
Analysis of Traffic Impacts
. This mobility plan would include the adoption of a new method for analyzing transportation impacts of new development. Heretofore, the
method has been singularly focused on vehicle traffic and conventional vehicle “level of service” rationale. The City of Cha
rleston should pioneer a new method evaluating all modes of travel, thereby emphasizing our transit, bike and pedestrian goals. 2.
. Continue to make improvements to the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) to attract more riders. We think this must include: 1) the creation of well-designed kiosks at each stop with maps and consistent branding, 2) the introduction of a digital system to make schedule and bus location information readily available both at bus stops and via cell phone application, 3) more frequent service, 4) smaller, cleaner buses (electric or natural gas) that mimic light rail in design, 5) a new marketing/public information campaign, and 6) more consistent driver training and performance evaluation. The Committee believes the full Task Force should be involved in the upcoming CARTA study of its service on the peninsula, and help it develop a comprehensive vision for how CARTA can improve the DASH, alleviate traffic congestion, and improve the overall quality of life downtown. 3.
Supplement our regulatory system that mandates on-site parking for each building with a new system that directs funding to transit, bike and pedestrian improvements. We can start by permitting an appropriate payment in lieu of on-site parking that will be used to support structured parking facilities, free DASH service, sidewalk/streetscape improvements and bike facilities. The city should also consider improving signage for (and overall awareness of) existing parking garage facilities downtown. 4.
Enable a robust pedicab business as it presents a great opportunity for enjoyable and convenient travel in downtown Charleston. While the City should encourage this industry, it also needs to enforce the quality and safety of the licensed operators. Committee members agreed that earlier complaints about pedicab operations have been successfully addressed. It will form a fact-finding mission to interview: 1) Pedicab company owner/operators, 2) the Chamber of Commerce and CVB, 3) hoteliers/restauranteurs, and 4) Captain Searson of the CPD for the purpose of determining how existing pedicab services can be improved.