Sustainable Flood Transport

When it floods in Charleston, like it did last weekend, doors are opened for new and innovative modes of sustainable transportation to be utilized in our city. Check out these modes of transport our fellow Charlestonians used to get around over the weekend!

When the waters rise above bike tires, a routine city bike ride is no longer feasible.

image1  That didn’t dissuade this innovative biker who literally rose to the occasion on his elevated bicycle for a rainy ride down Market Street.
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Not only can normal modes of sustainable transportation be altered for flood conditions, extreme flooding allows for entirely new transportation to be seen across Charleston’s streets. Charleston resembles a southern Venice with kayakers, in place of the more Italian gondolas, through the City Market.

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More modes of sustainable flood transport can be found is this City Paper article from a flood a few years ago in 2012.

Next time it floods, don’t forget to try out some of these new methods of sustainable transportation! (… Don’t actually take that advice, flood waters aren’t sanitary kids.)

Charleston, Get Your Bikes!

If you’ve ever tried to navigate downtown in a car, you find out very quickly that perhaps it is not the most efficient (nor sustainable) mode of transportation for downtown Charleston. Personally, I never drive my car to navigate the peninsula, I’ve found it much quicker and a much more pleasant journey to walk or take a bike. A law firm on East Bay street seems to agree. They recently purchased “office bikes” for employees to take to lunch or meetings downtown instead of attempting to drive, and their employees love it! Check out the article in the Post and Courier here. Imagine how transportation in Charleston could be revolutionized if more companies invested in office bikes for downtown. When efficiency and sustainability are one in the same, like with biking downtown, its an open highway to revolutionizing the way we get from point A to point B.

#BikeWalkVote2015

73.36% is the 5 year growth rate of commuting bicyclists in Charleston, SC. That’s huge. In fact, it’s the largest growth rate of America’s top 100 metro areas according to the U.S. Censing Bureau in this report. As a result, Charleston is responding to this growth in numbers and support of biking in various ways, including recently approving a bike lane for the Ashley River bridge (woohoo!). Of monumental importance in continuing this kind of action is Charleston’s upcoming mayoral election. Charleston Moves is interviewing all the candidates on their opinions on biker/pedestrian rights in Charleston and their own personal interest in biking. They will be posting one new interview every day this week. Check them out here to learn a little more about your Charleston mayoral candidates and get involved!

Ashley River Bridge Bike & Pedestrian Lane

After much research, Charleston County is finally putting in a safe bike and pedestrian path over the Ashley River Bridge, from West Ashley to Downtown. The project is well on its way and is scheduled to be completed January 2017!!!

For details on this wonderful project, check out this website: http://roads.charlestoncounty.org/projects/ashley_river_bridge/

The path will replace the far right lane on the bridge going into downtown, and will be structured in a way that won’t slow down traffic. See for yourself in this awesome video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMZHcIQfeJ8&feature=youtu.be

Minds Set in a Bubble

Once upon a time, a red-head was biking home in the Charleston heat. She noticed a car slowing down beside her and thought, What is this crazy driver doing? When she did not respond, the driver whistled and yelled, “Hey — You hot?” She ignored him, thinking he was a random stranger hitting on her, only to realize that this “crazy driver” was her friend waving to her as he drove away. Oops!

Yelling my name would have helped… Oh well.

This funny story highlights an interesting way that people interact. It’s awkward for a person in a car to interact with a biker or a pedestrian or even another person in a car. When drivers do interact with anyone outside their car it’s either honking at someone or slowing down to yell out the window — usually inconvenient to others on the road. Drivers seem to be in their own little bubble while bikers and walkers have more freedom for face-to-face interaction. But even pedestrians ignore each other.

How do we get out of this mindset of “I’m-in-a-bubble-going-quickly-from-point-A-to-point-B-so-nobody-bother-me”?

I would argue for a less stressful and more efficient transportation system that includes all modes of transportation. Maybe then the mindset of commuters can be more friendly and open.

Helpful Strangers

On one cold day, I was riding down Bee Street with a long coat. A long, billowing, beautiful coat. Suddenly, my bike wheel stopped spinning. As you may have guessed, my coat had gotten stuck in my back break. Moving off the busy road, I fiddled with my bike, trying unsuccessfully to get my coat unstuck. I expected people to just pass me by, so I was really happy when two bikers stopped and helped me out. That was the highlight of my day.
Here’s to the people who take time to help their fellow road-users.

Weekly Reads!

How and Why Cities Are Catering To Bicyclists
http://efficientgov.com/blog/2015/07/22/how-and-why-cities-are-catering-to-bicyclists/
More people are riding bikes, so cities are smartly making their infrastructure safer for all forms of transportation.
A bevy of bizarre bicycles (40 Photos)
http://thechive.com/2013/05/29/an-bevy-of-bizarre-bicycles-40-photos/
These are some pretty crazy-looking bicycles. Animal bikes, bikes on bikes, really tall bikes, really long bikes, really dangerous-looking bikes…
Find Out If You Live in One of the Most Walkable Cities in the US
https://www.brit.co/most-walkable-cities/
Wouldn’t it be awesome if Charleston, SC was on this list?
Is GinzVelo The Future For Sustainable Transportation?
http://inventorspot.com/articles/ginzvelo-future-for-sustainable-transportation
GinzVelo is basically a cross between a car and a bike and my be the future for sustainable transportation. What do you think?
Peter Ginzburg, the inventor of this hybrid, sums it up pretty nicely, “If you live in a city, then you know that owning a car is a burden, public transportation is time consuming, walking is slow, and riding a bike can be very inconvenient… That’s why I created GinzVelo.”