Post & Courier. February 1, 2022.
Editorial: Charleston should take the lead in making its suburbs more walkable. here’s how
It was one of the last points – and therefore perhaps the least noticed – that Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg made in his State of the City address last month: “I will ask the council Council to allocate an additional $1 million from our federal relief funds to build new sidewalks and repair existing sidewalks in residential areas of the city.
We urge him and the city council to come to terms with it. And we encourage interested homeowners and neighborhood leaders to consider how it might benefit them and make their particular part of town more walkable.
A major effort to extend and repair sidewalks is a long overdue idea that could make the city’s suburban areas more livable, help ease future traffic congestion, reduce emissions and improve pedestrian safety. It would also mark an important step towards realizing the vision set out in the city’s master plan for West Ashley, which mentions sidewalks at least 47 times.
Charleston had sidewalks along nearly all of its streets until the 1960s, when the city began to expand its boundaries across the Ashley River into the new suburbs that sprang up there. Most of these neighborhoods were planned and built while governed by the county, which had more lax rules than the city. They were also built during the height of America’s love affair with the car. Bigger lots meant bigger distances and less chance of someone wanting to walk. And if they chose to walk, early residents would encounter only a fraction of the traffic they would face today.
Fortunately, city planners recognized this problem years ago, and most new developments now include sidewalks. Yet, much more needs to be done to close the gaps created years ago. Many suburban streets lack sidewalks, and past efforts to address this issue have been sporadic, patchy, and slow. It’s time to change that, and $1 million from the city in COVID-19 relief is a promising start.
The mayor and city council must work with neighborhood leaders and landowners to ensure that money is spent in the optimal places. This is the hardest part, and it’s also the part that started. For example, some residential streets are arguably quiet enough — they serve relatively few properties and have little traffic — that they don’t need sidewalks. And residents and owners could be forgiven for not resenting it. The greatest need may be on the busier streets that connect neighborhoods.
For example, Folly Road on James Island has been the subject of much planning and discussion about ways to promote safety for cyclists and pedestrians. But while the ReThink Folly plan has been written, the changes on the ground have been relatively few; large swaths of Folly still lack sidewalks, in part because the road winds through multiple local government jurisdictions and coordination can be difficult. We commend Charleston County for its long-standing policy requiring property owners to add sidewalks in new developments, even if there are no adjacent sidewalks to connect to. It has to start somewhere, and a new development, or major redevelopment, is an opportunity not to be missed.
The city’s approach could be similar to its new policy of working with neighborhoods to bury power lines; both involve construction and right-of-way issues. The city should designate a staff member to guide applications through the process from concept to completion. Instead of trying to tackle entire neighborhoods or long stretches of road in a single project, it can be a good idea to split the efforts into smaller chunks; the single block upgrade could be done quickly and still make a difference.
Adding sidewalks and repairing existing sidewalks isn’t the biggest challenge facing Charleston, and Mr. Tecklenburg was right to focus his State of the City address primarily on measures to combat flooding. , improve public safety and promote more affordable housing. But Charleston should be expected to make progress on all of that and smaller initiatives as well.
If Charleston handles this million-dollar sidewalk plan well, it could create political momentum for such work. And that’s exactly what will be needed if the city ultimately wants a robust sidewalk network in and around all of its neighborhoods, from Johns Island to Cainhoy.
It will take time, but the later the town starts, the longer it will take.
Times and Democrat. January 28, 2022.
Editorial: More ways to bring you local news
The Times and Democrat in 2021 marked 140 years since the newspaper’s first edition was published on September 29, 1881. Our coverage has focused heavily on the history of The T&D and its transformation over the years.
For nearly 20 years, The T&D has been part of Lee Enterprises, a publicly traded media company that publishes 75 daily newspapers in 26 states and more than 350 weekly, classified and specialty publications. Lee Enterprises was founded in 1890 by Alfred Wilson Lee and is based in Davenport, Iowa.
The two decades at Lee brought technological changes that revolutionized The T&D’s ability to reach audiences. Today, we are a complete digital agency, offering audience solutions that go far beyond the traditional newspaper. While continuing to print the print edition seven days a week at our press in Orangeburg, The Times and Democrat through its TheTandD.com website, but more importantly through its amplified digital agency and the resources of Lee Enterprises, can now reach a wider audience and very specific targeted audiences. The video has broadened audience engagement and breaking news is blasted from The T&D’s newsroom all day.
Here’s why we’re telling you about January’s birthday and diary:
Not so long ago, the newspaper’s primary means of informing you was through print. Before the digital age, The T&D was at the forefront of technology with the printed product, from designing the pages on the computer to our printing process.
And the printed newspaper came out every day, often in the most difficult times. Distribution was vital, especially in the midst of a disaster like Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Since then, we’ve often said the newspaper is a welcome sign of normalcy in situations where power and other norms are everything. except normal.
The recent threats of winter weather in our area have reminded us again that the print newspaper is important, but not in the same way it was before and after Hurricane Hugo. Today, the newspaper’s website and social media platforms give us the ability to bring news to the public around the clock. You don’t have to wait for the morning print newspaper to get updates. And you can get a wealth of additional content that cannot be folded into the printed paper.
You’ve seen the Times and Democrat promotions in print and online urging you to register as a member to get all the paper has to offer. We offered unique promotions and perks. We told you how important it is to keep the community informed that local journalism not only survives, but thrives. Your support for the work of local journalists is vital.
Some say newspapers won’t be around in the information age. They are wrong. Amid an explosion of information available from so many sources today, there will always be a need for local journalists dedicated to collecting credible local news. The way news is presented continues to evolve, but it matters to people no matter how they receive the news.
Aiken standard. January 29, 2022.
Editorial: The city should be commended for its efforts to improve Aiken
Every farmer knows that you have to till the soil to produce a bumper crop.
This principle also applies to businesses, and the city of Aiken has done so on a variety of projects.
“We’ve been tilling the ground for quite a long time,” Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said recently.
During his State of the City address, delivered via video to a virtual audience last week, Osbon outlined all of the exciting projects the city is currently involved in. Some are more visible than others, but all projects require careful attention and guidance.
The Richland Avenue Corridor is the main center of activity. From the old Aiken County Hospital redevelopment on the west end to the new Aiken Steeplechase Association facility on the east, there is a lot of activity in this important stretch. Between these two landmarks are the redevelopment of the Aiken Hotel and surrounding properties, the new municipal building for the city headquarters, and plans to improve the Aiken Farmers Market and the neighborhood that supports it. surrounded.
There’s also a lot going on in the Southside. Demolition of the Aiken Mall has begun, approximately six years after the announcement of the sale of the property. Plans call for the construction of 256 apartments as well as a multi-use path along the perimeter. To reduce congestion on Whiskey Road, the city proposed a connector with Powderhouse Road. This will eliminate nearly a quarter of Whiskey Road’s traffic and free up some 400 acres for future growth and development.
“I’m happy to report that we’re turning the dirt around to make it happen this calendar year,” Osbon said.
Plans to protect the city’s water supply are just as important, but not as high profile as some of the other projects. The purchase of 2,500 acres at the Mason Branch Reservoir will ensure a “clean and adequate water supply for our main groundwater source, Shaws Creek,” the mayor said. A new wastewater treatment plant with modern technology will replace the one built in 1954.
At the heart of the city is Hitchcock Woods, and the Sand River Stormwater project started with massive underground vaults that are placed near the South Boundary entrance. The vaults will eliminate stormwater erosion problems and new green space will be an attractive and useful gateway to Hitchcock Woods.
Osbon’s video showed him in most of the places he talked about, and the image of him standing atop the vaults of Hitchcock Woods put into perspective the true scale of this project. It also shows that the city is not afraid to take on projects, no matter how small.
“It’s been a year of action,” Osbon said.
We applaud the results of the hard work of Aiken executives and workers behind the scenes. The foundation has been laid. The key now is to continue to cultivate Aiken’s landscape and business opportunities for generations to come.