There’s no disagreeing in the fact that Charleston is growing faster than ever. From Boeing to Volvo arriving in the Lowcountry and many other companies, we’ve been thankful for all their jobs they have provided to our economy – not to mention how their business helps all the small businesses in our area. However, we have to talk about what is happening as a result of these positive aspects to our community, a serious problem with traffic, roads and overall transportation. Now, we can look at it and think of it as a negative problem, or we can look at it as so many other burgeoning cities in the past have done – with serious planning and conversations. Look at places like Denver, who uses a tram on their famous 16th Street Mall. They also provide HOV lanes and a light rail system that is used by commuters daily. Of course these implementations didn’t happen overnight, but they did happen.
From finishing I-526 to improving the roads all over Charleston County to creating a viable way for commuters to get to work and school, we are facing many opinions on what’s the correct way to tackle this all. I have been vocal on how I want to not only work on today but work on the quality of life for our future. I worked hard on the expansion of Johnnie Dodds Blvd in Mt. Pleasant and if you drive it often, you can remember how backed up it was. We’re working hard on Hwy 41 and the Clements Ferry Road area because that is one of the new hotspots for affordable living. As a North Charleston native, I smile when I see how much the Park Circle area and those neighborhoods around it are improving from the influx of businesses and families who have chosen that area. In the area that was once considered seedy and dilapidated, the North Meeting Street Rd and Spruill area are enjoying revitalization – along with other areas of the neck.
And we can’t forget one of our main attractions to tourists is our beaches. But if locals can’t get there because of traffic, neither can the tourists. So installing traffic cameras before the beaches can help reduce drive times because drivers will be able to see what they’re heading towards. We want everyone to enjoy Charleston – we just have to be on the move to keep up with the changes.
Along with this growth comes concerns of affordable housing, areas without food sources, land conservancy and more. I want to hear from you on your ideas and what issues matter to you most. Please feel free to contact me on my cell at (843)200-4244 or email me at Elliott@ElliottSummey.com. Let’s work together to continue to drive Charleston County’s success.