Grant to develop plan for safer streets in Charleston

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Zoey Bonwell only has to go from where she lives on the East End of Charleston to downtown for work.

“What I would like to see in terms of infrastructure is personally I bike everywhere,” Bonwell said.

She said the routes can be hard to maneuver sharing the road with both walkers and drivers.

That sort of infrastructure planning is exactly what the city of Charleston announced Wednesday with the $200,000 federal funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant will develop a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan to improve roads and address traffic deaths.

“I know there is bike lanes on Kanawha Boulevard. I would like to see more bike lanes,” Bonwell said.

Officials say vehicle speed reduction, bike lanes, median islands and transit connections will also be a part of the plan.

The grant will also build on the initiative by the city to improve Kanawha Boulevard that spans the city from East to West along the river and where two of the city’s more unsafe intersections are.

Those bike lanes could become a reality for Bonwell.

“I think it would be a lot safer. I feel like it can be a bit awkward biking everywhere when people are trying to utilize the sidewalks where there is more traffic. I suppose, I just have to end up carrying my bike,” Bonwell said.

The plan will also include ways to make the city more Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessible.