The South Carolina Livable Communities Alliance (SCLCA) partners with the National Action Network of Columbia (NAN) to launch “The Street Sweeper Church Tour” at Reid Chapel AME Church on Saturday, March 30th at 1:00pm. The purpose of this tour is to raise awareness of the need for complete streets, especially in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “street sweeper” speech calls for us to be the best we can be in whatever we do. SCLCA and NAN are centering this conversation around this speech because the goal is to make SC streets the best they can be.
Researcher Charles Brown found that while South Carolina’s African American population represents 28% of SC’s total population, they represent 45% of all SC’s pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Furthermore, 95% of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in South Carolina happen on roads owned by the state. Studies show that improving infrastructure design, in coordination with repaving opportunities as systems age, is the most effective method of increasing safety and decreasing fatality rates of people walking and bicycling.
South Carolinians are actively making progress towards streets that are safe for all modes of transportation. The SC Livable Communities Alliance is making a complete streets policy proposal directly to SCDOT Commissioners. These 9 decision-makers are responsible for making policy decisions for the 70% of SC roads that are owned by the state.
In addition, SC Representative Marvin Pendarvis sponsored a Complete Streets Bill that requires SCDOT to pass a complete streets policy. Multimodal “complete streets” ensure everyone on the road – people walking, bicycling, driving, or taking the bus – can travel safely. Currently, SCLCA and other advocates are calling to advance the Complete Streets bill, H.3656, which will be heard in the Education and Public Works Committee Tuesday, March 26th.
Columbia alone has seen two pedestrian deaths and one injury within the last two weeks. Two fatalities on Millwood Avenue and Duke Avenue, respectively and one injury on Duke Avenue.
“It is time to sweep our streets and provide complete streets to aid in the safety, health, and mobility of historically neglected neighborhoods that are stripped of resources such as walking and biking infrastructure, says Tiffany James, the Equity Consultant for SCLCA and the President of the National Action Network of Columbia.
The South Carolina Livable Communities Alliance supports the planning, designing, operation, and maintenance of public highways in a manner that provides safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. The Alliance is led by the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, AARP of South Carolina, the SC Alliance of YMCA’s, the American Heart Association of SC, Eat Smart, Move More SC, The Disability and Health Project, Able SC, The Coastal Conservation League, and The Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities.
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, citizenship, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression, or sexuality.