Public transportation focus of 'listening session' on Daniel Island
Representatives from CARTA, TriCounty Link, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) hosted a drop-in “listening session” at the Daniel Island Library on Tuesday, July 17.
The meeting was open to the public and was created to offer local residents the chance to provide their opinion on public transportation on the island. As was reported in the July 18 edition of The Daniel Island News, there is currently no public transit option for island residents.
“It’s a process,” said BCDCOG Spokesperson Daniel Brock at the meeting. “I think this is the first step…What we’re hearing across the region is that people are ready to include public transit in the mix.”
Library patron Chris Belliveau participated to “get a handle on what the future of traffic is looking like here in Charleston,” he said. “It needs a lot of improvement, for sure. I think it’s difficult given all the water we have around here, and the infrastructure’s obviously really hard to deal with, but the Daniel Island (water) taxi and things like that— I think progressive ideas will really help out the region.”
A total of four attendees stopped in for the hour and a half gathering, including Belliveau and a representative from the Daniel Island Property Owners Association. The Daniel Island News received a notice about the event after going to print for the July 12 edition, so was unable to promote the session in advance. The announcement also did not meet the deadline for the Daniel Island Property Owners Association weekly e-blast.
POA Vice President of Community Services Jane Baker said that “more people would have been interested in the topic with more notice.” She also stated that the POA is in favor of public transportation on DI.
“[The] growing hospitality sector on DI, as well as residents, could benefit,” added Baker.
Karen Elsey, co-owner of Daniel Island restaurant Laura Alberts Tasteful Options, does not believe proper notice from the BCDCOG was given for the event. Elsey has been outspoken in the past about her desire for public transportation on Daniel Island, and Daniel Brock mentioned her as one of the people who requested a meeting.
The POA and Elsey, like The Daniel Island News, received word of the event on Thursday, July 12. Elsey stated she could not attend because the event fell on a vacation she had planned six months ago. She said that the last time she reached out to CARTA was two months ago.
According to Brock, a webpage has been created to solicit feedback from community members and can be accessed at www.ridecarta.com/danielisland.
“Folks that couldn’t make it today, or if they in general had some sort of thought or request or ideas for service, we can collect it digitally,” he said.