Better Bus Stops for Coleman Blvd.

An impressive array of display boards at February 28th. Coleman Blvd. Revitalization drop in meeting at Moultrie Middle school showed years of community effort coming together to create a main street for Mount Pleasant which will be transit enabled, complete with carefully planned bus stop locations.

CARTA East Cooper Connector Crossing Shem Creek Bridge

CARTA #401 Crossing Shem Creek Bridge

The two hour drop in drew dozens of participants and community stakeholders from nearby neighborhoods, the business community and civic sector. Several members of the East Cooper Carta Riders attended to continue their support for a planning process which will shape a community where public transportation can work better, building on the successful effort of the past year which has put thousands of new rides per month on board the community’s new route system.

East Cooper CARTA Riders handed in a written statement with illustrations of existing stops in the area for the Planning Department’s consideration at the hearing.  For more information on East Cooper Public Transit, including the new ability to use Google Transit to plan trips on the CARTA system automatically, see their website at www.eastccrider.com.

An illustrated map of most existing East Cooper Bus Stops https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/albumMap?uname=wjhamilton29464&aid=5595773187925954337#map

Trips nearly everywhere on the CARTA bus system can now be planned automatically using Google Transit.

The text of the handout provided at last night’s meeting is below.

Better Bus Stops on Coleman Blvd.

From              East Cooper CARTA Riders
To                   Town of Mt. Pleasant
Date               February 28, 2012

Coleman Blvd. is an important section of our community’s new CARTA #401 East Cooper Connector Bus Route.   The Coleman Blvd. section of this route is one of the most productive areas for generating ridership.  Appropriate bus stops should be planned as part of the Boulevard improvement project.

This route is working towards reaching its ridership goal of 10 passengers per hour. During its first full month of operation in May 2011, the #40 had 800 Riders.  It reached 1100 in August and 1400 in December.  Elsewhere on the East Cooper CARTA system, huge increases of over 30% have been seen on the #40 Trans Mount Pleasant route, which is connected to the #401 East Cooper Connector.  The walkable sidewalk network extending into the Old Village area helps support ridership generation in this area.  The University School of the Lowcountry has actively supported development of this route, including production of a You Tube Video and door to door distribution of schedule information.

Coleman Blvd. has several nice stops now.  There is a shelter at Sea Island Shopping Center.  The park adjacent to Moultrie Middle School provides an attractive stop with benches, a swing, and its various amenities.  There is a bench opposite Sea Island Shopping Center that appears to be a relic of an advertising bench program here in the 1970s, when every bus stop was provided with a bench with an advertising back rest.

Unfortunately several areas badly need a safe, comfortable place to wait for the bus.  The Greatest need is near Shem Creek, where many people find employment in the Food and Hospitality sectors.   There also needs to be an upgraded stop opposite Moultrie Middle School.  The intersection of McGarth Darby and West Coleman Blvd, NE Corner has a stop with heavy use by people working in the Hotels nearby, but there is no bench or shelter.

These needs can be addressed by anything from simple benches to custom made shelters produced by local artists.  The critical components are a safe place to sit and take the weight of packages off the shoulders and a hard surface to stand on for pedestrians and wheelchairs.  CARTA Board member and Town Council member Linda Page recently attended the national transit convention and can advise the Town of an abundance of options in all price ranges.

Currently we see people sitting on the curb with their feet on the roadway waiting for the bus, which is very unsafe.  Safe, functional bus stops should be a part of the Coleman Blvd. Plan.

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