Transportation in the Charleston area is an issue that needs to be dealt with by the community as a whole. The region needs to provide a lot of the necessary infrastructure, businesses need to get involved with incentives, and individuals need to coordinate travel to either share the ride or consider alternatives. Our transportation issues are serious today. Unless we address them, they are only going to get worse over time. The future is ours to plan for now.
Studies have been done to evaluate potential solutions. Avenues from light rail and water ferries to improved bus systems have been explored. These ideas all have a certain appeal, but when you get into the logistics of implementation there are caveats.
One of the caveats is the density of our area. Charleston has 190.75 housing units per square mile. This is currently the lowest of comparable metros used in the studies. Although we do not have the density now, it is either going to be density, massive sprawl — or perhaps both — in our future. Higher density nodes should be thoughtfully planned to support our growth and the ability to sustain options such as bus rapid transit, commuter rail and light rail. (more…)