The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
Transportation Advisory Board - February 1
Reviews projects and ComprehensiveTransportation Plan timetableWarwick Jones
Yesterday's meeting was more about review than deliberation. Much of the meeting was taken up with a discussion of projects before the County this fiscal year, and the release of the Comprehensive Transportation Plan. It also unanimously endorsed the concept of "complete roads".
The Chief Deputy County Administrator of the County reviewed the ROADWISE program. He noted that altogether there were 6 groups of projects that would be underway this year. They were:
• $1 million Quick Start - Bids were due back shortly and the 15 road projects completed in late summer.
• $1.1 million Drainage Projects including Isaac German - 60% of the design was completed and construction likely to start by summer. Right of way and easement negotiations had delayed the start.
• $4 million CTC Resurfacing - These projects were also being funded with $4 million from State gasoline tax proceeds, making $8 million altogether. Bids had been received and Council would decide the winner shortly.
• $2 million new CTC projects. These projects, essentially paving, were selected by the CTC and the County Council.
• $77 million Initial Bond projects - These are those mentioned in the Sales Tax referendum and to which the Bond proceeds would be dedicated. All are still some way from commencement of construction as Council is still wrapping up design, and needs to complete right-of-way and acquisitions. Request for Proposals should be sent out shortly.
The projects, and opening dates mentioned in Mr. Bustraan's report are:
1. Highway 17- SC 61 Connector road - October 2008.
2. Glen McConnell - Bees Ferry Improvements - May 2008.
3. James Island Connector Interchange - December 2009.
4. Harborview Road Improvements - December 2009.
Maybank Hwy - Folly Road improvement - February 2010.
5. Palmetto Commercial Parkway Extension - October 2010.
Draft of Comprehensive plan available by February 15
After a very lengthy discussion and debate, the TAB and Mr. Bustraan agreed that a draft of the Comprehensive Transportation Plan would be made available to the TAB on or before February 15. LPA, the consultant, would make a presentation on the draft to the TAB on that day and the TAB could review it for the next two weeks. The Public could also view the report which will be placed on the County website. They will have an opportunity to comment at 2 public hearings, to be set for 2 of 3 days chosen from February 28 and March 1 and 2. After the public comment, the second part of the Comprehensive Plan - essentially based on comments from the TAB and public - will be written. The TAB could meet in March to discuss changes and amendments and the final reports presented to Council thereafter.
Unanimously adopts "complete street concept"
The TAB also voted unanimously to request that Council adopt the "Complete Street" concept in any new road construction. The TAB had briefly considered this issue previously. The concept is for roads to include both pedestrian and bicycle ways. The need was highlighted by a talk by Don Sparks, President of Charleston Moves, a local group dedicated to supporting more pedestrian and bicycle paths. He spoke of the need and the support from Citizens. And although he did not mention it in his talk, the public hearings in relation to Transportation and Greenbelts delivered the message very clearly that the public desires more pedestrian and cycle paths.
The next meeting of the TAB will include a discussion on the prioritization of projects. But as Board member Cawley questioned, the list before the GAB included projects that were to be financed by the bond proceeds. The TAB has no say in these projects as voters had already approved them. But maybe the TAB could determine the order and timing of the projects. More next meeting.