Background

A New Vision for Folly Road

The Rethink Folly Road Plan — the guiding document for revitalizing Folly Road — was adopted in February 2016. See below to download the full plan.

About the Plan

The Rethink Folly Road Plan outlines a vision for the Folly Road Corridor. Five Guideposts serve as goals for the corridor:

  1. SAFE
  2. CONNECTED
  3. GREEN
  4. VALUABLE
  5. SYNCED

Folly Road is a major thoroughfare leading onto James Island (adjacent to the historic peninsula of Charleston), connecting it with the West Ashley area of Charleston to the north and with the City of Folly Beach to the south. In 2010, almost 19,000 residents lived on or within a half-mile of the 7.87-mile segment of the road between Center Street on Folly Beach and the Wappoo Cut Bridge. Average Daily Traffic (ADT) volumes range from 44,000 across the Wappoo Cut Bridge and approximately 9,300 ADT across the causeway to Folly Beach. In cases of emergency, Folly Road also serves as the area’s primary evacuation route.

Today, Folly Road struggles with inefficient traffic operations, infrequent sidewalks, limited bike lanes, sparse landscaping, and inadequate infrastructure to support Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority’s (CARTA) bus system. Aging strip malls and auto-oriented commercial uses line the corridor. The roadway, including many of the properties that front it, does not convey James Island’s unique sense of place.

As expressed by hundreds of residents and area stakeholders as part of a charrette held in May 2015, Folly Road can better realize its role as James Island’s “center,” and as the hub of commercial activity. Critical concerns to be addressed include:

  • DESIGNING A “COMPLETE STREET” THAT BALANCES THE NEEDS OF ALL MODES OF TRAVEL
  • FACILITATING MULTIMODAL (WALKING, BIKING, AND TRANSIT) CONVERSIONS ALONG THE CORRIDOR
  • INTEGRATING ENHANCED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INTO FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS
  • COORDINATING AMONG VARIOUS GOVERNMENTAL BODIES WITH REGARD TO ZONING AND DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS, AND
  • SETTING STANDARDS FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT ALONG THE CORRIDOR

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