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Community Input Sought to Enhance Dorchester County Streets

Dorchester County, SC - Dorchester County Government is reaching out to the community, inviting residents, businesses, and stakeholders to actively participate in shaping the future of local streets. The initiative, known as Complete Streets Workshops, is geared towards garnering valuable input that will be instrumental in crafting a countywide policy aimed at making streets safer, more accessible, and accommodating for all modes of transportation.

The Complete Streets approach ensures that streets are designed with the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers in mind, promoting safety, health, and sustainability within the community. Recognizing the significance of community engagement in the decision-making process, these workshops offer a platform for residents to voice their thoughts and ideas.

Complete Streets Workshops Schedule:

1. Date: October 5, 2023 Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM (Presentation begins at 5:30 PM) Location: Alston Middle School (500 Bryan Street, Summerville) Parking: *Please use the driveway entrance off of Hwy. 78

2. Date: October 26, 2023 Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM (Presentation begins at 5:30 PM) Location: St. George Rosenwald School (205 Ann Street, St. George)

These workshops are open to all, and families are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be provided for participants.

Dorchester County Chairman Todd Friddle emphasized the importance of community involvement, stating, "We believe that everyone's voice matters when it comes to shaping the future of our community's streets. These workshops are an opportunity for us to work together to create safer, more accessible streets for all."

The Complete Streets Workshops represent a significant step towards enhancing the quality of life for Dorchester County residents. By soliciting input from the community, local leaders aim to create a comprehensive plan that will ensure the county's streets are not only functional but also prioritize the safety and convenience of all those who use them.

What are complete streets?

Complete Streets is an urban planning and transportation policy framework that promotes designing and operating streets to accommodate and prioritize the needs of all users, regardless of their mode of transportation. The goal of Complete Streets is to create streets that are safe, accessible, and convenient for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit riders, and motorists of all ages and abilities. Here are some key principles and features of Complete Streets:

  1. Multi-Modal Design: Complete Streets are designed to accommodate a variety of transportation modes, including walking, cycling, public transit, and driving. They aim to provide safe and efficient options for everyone.

  2. Pedestrian-Friendly: Sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals are essential components of Complete Streets to ensure the safety and convenience of pedestrians. Features like curb ramps and accessible pedestrian signals are incorporated to support individuals with disabilities.

  3. Cycling Infrastructure: Complete Streets typically include bike lanes, bike racks, and bike-sharing programs to encourage cycling as a viable mode of transportation. These features help improve safety for cyclists and promote a healthy lifestyle.

  4. Public Transit: Public transit stops and stations are integrated into Complete Streets planning to enhance accessibility and encourage the use of buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.

  5. Traffic Calming: Measures such as speed limits, traffic signals, and roundabouts are implemented to reduce vehicle speeds, improve safety for all users, and create more walkable and bike-friendly environments.

  6. Green Infrastructure: Trees, landscaping, and sustainable stormwater management techniques are often incorporated into Complete Streets to enhance aesthetics, provide shade, and mitigate the environmental impact of streets.

  7. Accessibility: Complete Streets prioritize accessibility for individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair users and those with visual or mobility impairments, by ensuring that sidewalks, curb ramps, and other features are compliant with accessibility standards.

  8. Community Engagement: Community input and engagement are critical components of Complete Streets planning. Local residents, businesses, and stakeholders are often consulted to understand their needs and preferences when designing or retrofitting streets.

  9. Safety: Safety is a paramount concern in Complete Streets design. Measures are taken to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities, making streets safer for all users, especially vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

  10. Economic Benefits: Well-designed Complete Streets can have positive economic impacts by attracting businesses, increasing property values, and promoting local commerce.

Complete Streets policies vary from one locality to another, and their implementation may depend on factors such as local priorities, available funding, and existing infrastructure. The primary goal is to create a transportation network that prioritizes the well-being and convenience of all community members, reducing dependency on single-occupancy vehicles and promoting alternative, sustainable modes of transportation.

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