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As an avid cyclist and West Ashley resident, I was overjoyed when news broke that the city was finally awarded an $18.1 million BUILD grant for the bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Ashley River.
The bridge will be an amazing step toward making Charleston more bike and pedestrian friendly and toward alleviating traffic congestion.
However, if we are truly to fight congestion in Charleston, the bridge is only one step.
As Charlestonians, we have to make our area more friendly to alternative modes of transportation and encourage more people to bike.
The Ashley River bridge will help with that, but unless we all make a concerted effort to make cyclists feel safer, biking as a form of transportation will never truly take off, and the frustration motorists feel when staring at an endless row of taillights won’t soon dissipate.
As any Lowcountry cyclist will tell you, it feels as though you’re taking your life in your hands any time you get on your bike here in Charleston.
Realizing a bike friendly, fewer-cars future depends on all of us pitching in.
To all the frustrated drivers, we understand you want to get wherever you’re going a bit faster. We bicycle riders do too.
Next time you encounter a cyclist, consider that wherever you’re going, getting there sooner isn’t worth someone’s life. It will help us all long-term.
In his Nov. 24 Post and Courier column, Gene Sapakoff argues that Tillman Hall on the Clemson University campus should be renamed because it bears the name of a racist.
The building is named for Ben Tillman, a former governor of South Carolina and a former state senator. The writer makes the case that Tillman was indeed a racist.
While he was at it, Sapakoff might have noted that Thomas Clemson, founder of the university, was a Confederate officer, a plantation owner and a slaveholder.
He married the daughter of John C. Calhoun, who was an outspoken advocate for the slave-plantation system in the antebellum South.
Maybe the sports editor would conclude that the name Clemson should be removed from the university.
I sincerely hope not. History is all around us: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Instead of erasing history from the blackboard of our past, we should learn from it.
Quid pro quos
In a recent op-ed, the writer, in my opinion, correctly stated that quid quo pros occur all the time in government, such as an agreement between two or more nations.
The problem is that what the president asked for was a personal “quid,” something that would be a benefit to him as opposed to our nation.
It brings to mind France’s King Louis XIV’s famous quip “l’etat c’est moi” (the state, it is me).
Alas, for this president, that is not how things are in the 21st century, even if it appears the president thinks it should be. We get to vote our leaders in or out.
Roads and traffic
So Post and Courier columnist Steve Bailey, who is retired and lives downtown, doesn’t want any more roads to be built.
I guess he wants the rest of us to suffer since he has nowhere to go. Like the curmudgeonly letter writers who long for the Charleston of 40 years ago, he has his head in the sand and cannot see or comprehend the extraordinary growth the tri-county region has experienced.
I challenge the fallacy that the roads create “induced demand.”
Roads don’t create traffic. Growth does. If a bagel factory makes too many bagels, does that induce more people to buy them? No.
Even more growth is on the way.
There are thousands upon thousands of homes planned for the Long Savannah project in West Ashley, thousands more up Clements Ferry Road on Daniel Island, and that is only the start.
More homes coming to Johns Island, Summerville, Cane Bay, Berkeley County … “And the beat goes on.”
But I guess it is the roads that will create traffic. I say build the roads now, or get ready for L.A.-style gridlock.
PSC name change
Considering the sweetheart deal the Public Service Commission gave Dominion Energy to the detriment of consumers and the constraints it placed on payments to independent solar energy producers, I believe it’s time for a name change.
The Public Service Commission should be called the Utility Service Commission.
Replacing commission members who consistently vote against the public interests with those who actually represent the people is a daunting task because the appointments are made by members of the Legislature who receive large campaign donations from utility companies.
Why not let commission members be elected by the public they are supposed to represent?
South Plaza Court