Maxwell Bendert

Maxwell Bendert

Binghamton, NY, US


Charleston on 2 Wheels

As gasoline prices rise there will be a need for more multi-modal ways of transportation. Besides walking, cycling is the next best - in terms of efficiency - mode of transportation. Not only does cycling provide a faster transit from point to point than walking, it is also extremely beneficial to ones health.

While studying in Charleston, our studio was charged with the challenge to study, design, and propose a program for the Greater Metropolitan Area of Charleston, South Carolina.

Countless amounts of people have heard of global warming and whether they heed the warning or not there will be some sort of environmental change. If the waters surrounding Charleston rise a foot, the peninsula of Charelston will lose 15% of its land mass, and like-wise with more exceeding water levels. This warning applies to automobiles and their exhaustive fumes emitting carbon into the atmosphere. The carbon within the atmostphere creates a sort of blanket or coat that aides in the rising temperatures of the planet.

To propose the plan of switching from automobile transporation to cycling would have a major positive impact on the environment. Many citizens of Charleston say they would make the switch if it was safer to ride.

Thus, the question is how plan and design safer cycling routes and paths throughout Charelston?

By taking a zoomed out exploration study of the existing and proposed cycling plans of Charleston we came to the conclusion that there were an overabundance of discontinuity.  There exists a need of one major route that “links” each municipality to each other, not just to the peninsula. Thus, the creation of the Bike Link and Bike Belt.

Once we focused our study more on the peninsula, we were confronted with the challenge of co-inhabiting bicycles with automobiles and pedestrians within an extremely tight, paved environment. We were concerned with the safety of the rider and the ability to connected all the major entities that spot the peninsula.

Proposals of reconstructing this paved environment to better suit the three major modes of transporation - walking, riding, and driving - were experiemented with.

Multiple avenues were suggested to aid in this connection of entities while enabling the cyclists to take the most direct route possible to their destinations. We also had to keep in mind the routes from the adjacent municpalities to where they connected with the peninsula. These connections points were crucial in a smooth transtion through or into the peninsula.

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Status: School Project
Location: Charleston, SC, US