Line Street Two-Way Conversion
This project continues the City of Charleston’s practice of converting one-way streets back to two-way streets. Doing so increases safety for all modes of travel, prioritizes the people who live and work on the streets, makes the city more accessible, and slows down traffic. The conversion of Line Street between Rutledge Avenue and King Street follows the recently-completed, popularly-successful conversion of Spring Street and Cannon Street. The conversion is a recommendation from a study to convert Coming Street and Saint Phillip Street in a similar manner. While Coming-Saint Phillip will take much longer to complete, the City can act now to convert Line Street (since it is a locally-maintained street).
Design Division led a staff site visit and developed design recommendations not only for the street conversion, but also incorporating various traffic calming devices such new and repainted crosswalks, artistic crosswalks, painted curb extensions, stop signs, and neck downs.
Two Bikeway Options
We also developed two alternatives for bicycle infrastructure to implement the People Pedal Plan: one with shared lane arrows, or “sharrows,” and another with a contra-flow bicycle lane between King Street and Saint Phillip Street. Residents at the Cannonborough Elliotborough Neighborhood Association meeting favored the use of sharrows so the two-way conversion could occur along the entire project area.
The basic two-way conversion would extend along the entire project area, from Rutledge Avenue to King Street. Stop signs, crosswalks, and sharrows will be repainted or added. No on-street parking will be removed from Line Street.
While not as safe and comfortable as true bike lanes, sharrows (shared-lane arrows) indicate to motorists that bicycles belong on the street and are likely to be present. They also mark a bicycle route.
This option would convert Line Street to two-way between Rutledge Avenue and St. Philip Street. The segment between St. Philip Street and King Street would remain one-way eastbound. A buffered contra-flow bike lane would allow cyclists to safely travel westbound between King Street and the future Lowcountry Lowline to the College of Charleston using Saint Philip Street.
We recommend several street improvements that can have a strong placemaking effect. New crosswalks and painted curb extensions, especially if painted in interesting designs and coupled with outdoor seating, can enliven the street space and promote building occupancy by local businesses (corner stores, for example). While these may not be included in the basic street conversion budget, this plan accounts for their eventual installation and promotes such opportunities.