It has been announced that a ban will soon be put in place, stating that bicycles are not permitted to be ridden on the James Island Connector in Charleston.
Mayor Joe Riley states that the South Carolina Department of Transportation will be responsible for putting the ban in place. However, the city police will be in charge of enforcing the ban. He estimates that it will be a few weeks before the ban is fully in effect. In addition to bicycles being banned, pedestrians will also not be allowed to cross over the James Island connector.
Mayor Riley reported that signs are currently being made by the SCDOT that will be put up on the connector in order to notify bicyclists of the ban.
While it is apparent that the James Island Connector can be dangerous for bicyclists, many residents, including Tom Bradford, director of Charleston Moves, feel as though the ban is disappointing. Currently, bicyclists believe that the James Island connector is the safest option that they have for commuting from James Island to Charleston.
This ban is possibly being put in place in reaction to the tragic accident in July that killed Dr. Mitchell Hollon while he was riding his bicycle on the connector. He was struck from behind by a vehicle that drifted into the break down lane while he was commuting to work from James Island. Many people were devastated by the loss of Dr. Hollon, which has resulted in an increase in concern for the safety of bicyclists in general who are traveling on Charleston's roads.
Mayor Riley stated that they are trying to make one of the lanes of the bridges over the Ashley River designated for bicyclists and pedestrians, allowing for a safer way to get to the peninsula. However, the funds needed for the project have not yet amounted.