Derrick Harrison rides his bike to Downtown Charleston each day to his job as a line cook in a restaurant on Queen Street.
His route takes him south on Anson Street then west on Queen Street. Therein lies a problem; Anson is one way going north.
Charleston police have started ticketing cyclists for riding the wrong way, and Derrick has picked up three tickets in the last month, costing $100 a pop.
So has this deterred our wayward bike commuter? No way… According to this story in our local Post & Courier Derrick continues to ride the wrong way on Anson; he would rather risk another ticket than risk his life on parallel Meeting or East Bay Streets.
The question I would ask Derrick is, “Do jobs as line cooks pay so well that you can afford to do that? And while I agree Meeting and East Bay are not good streets to ride a bike, do you think riding the wrong way on a one-way street is safer?”
Cars entering such a street from side roads look only in the direction traffic is coming; they are not expecting cyclists from the opposite side.
Pedestrians too are at risk; in this case I am with the police in issuing tickets.
Look at the map above, Old Town Charleston is a peninsula; its streets are laid out in a rough grid pattern. The streets marked in yellow are the main though routes, I even try to avoid these in my car, and would definitely give them a miss on my bike.
However, there are many other streets that go north and south, and east and west; some are quiet residential streets with little traffic.
For cri’sakes Derrick, find another way to and from work; seeking out alternative routes is one of the fun things about bicycle commuting.
Swing over to the west, find a quiet street to take you south; Queen Street is one way going west so just continue south until you reach Tradd Street (South of Broad.) for example. Take Tradd east until you are past your place of employment, then head north to Queen.
So this might add a mile to your trip, just leave home five minutes earlier. Of course if you would rather keep giving the City of Charleston your hard earned money, I am sure they will be happy to keep on taking it.