Number 5: Charleston was all about the bike

Image by Flickr user Perctheory

In 2009 the debate for more and bigger roads continued, but it saw some of its attention shifted towards what to do with the increasing number of bikes in the Lowcountry.

Sure, it had a little to do with how bikes can do a lot to reduce congestion of our traffic and heart arteries, but mainly folks just wanted to debate where the two-wheeled curiosities should go.

On the sidewalk, off the sidewalk, nowhere at all

As early as January 2nd we could tell that bikes were going to be taken more seriously: Charleston's police chief declared that the they would be looking to educate cyclists on the rules of the road, and if that failed, they would be out writing tickets.

And write tickets they did.

It was an action that brought much bemoaning by some parts of the bike community but one that also legitimized the bike's right to be on the road.  And it wasn't too long after that the city decided to spend some time refining its rules.

It's probably safe to say that both sides aren't happy where 2009 has left the state of bike accommodation and regulation in the Charleston area, but from the continued involvement of Charleston Moves, to the firm establishment of the Holy City Bike Co-op, to a ladies-only bike outing, we've seen that bikes have been placed in an an elevated social and political status.

It's something that the City of Charleston has recognized and started to form of a dialogue with its citizens about.

Who knows, come 2010 we might even see the first talk of a bike lane on the peninsula. 

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