A promised and planned, people-centric, transit-enabled landscape in North Charleston is in danger of being usurped. Now, a group passionate about public transportation and community are gearing up for a protest.
Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit is organizing the event from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Black Friday, Nov. 29, in front of a Spinx gas station at 6899 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, SC 29406, which is on the #10 Rivers Ave. bus line.
The location is as important as the protest itself, which bills itself as an extension of the Global Climate Strike.
Rivers Avenue is the planned artery for the proposed bus rapid transit line that will provide bus lines from Summerville into downtown.
Along that corridor, Spinx is planning to construct a new station on the southwest corner of Rivers and McMillan Ave, across from the old Navy hospital and an existing Exxon gas station.
The area is centered in the heart of a 25-mile linear community. BFL Transit has called the new plan an “intolerable waste” that would stand “in the most notorious food desert in the region.”
“The critical learning here is that this is a very valuable location and what we build there needs to work for the entire region,” says BFLTransit’s leader, William Hamilton.
The corner lot is the former home to a strip shopping center where North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey has unsuccessfully tried for years to lure a large-scale grocery store to build to no avail. Summey told the P&C earlier this month that having a gas station on the site, "wouldn’t be my first choice."
So with the idea of the promised land in mind, the protest will draw inspiration from the Biblical book of Exodus, complete with characters and costumes. They will present their costumed Pharaoh and the Spinx Corporation with their Ten Commandments for the Promised Line.
“Relax,” said BFL Transit said in a press release. “This isn’t about historic accuracy. We’re doing the Cecil B. DeMille movie, not history or the Bible. You can also participate in regular clothing.”
But in case you have a flair for the theatre of it all, they are still casting supporting roles to stand with Moses and Aaron, the latter of which allegedly has the most lines.
BFL Transit also reminds people not to attempt to cross Rivers Ave. on foot alone, as it is one of the busiest roads in South Carolina. Instead, in the spirit of the promised land, the river of traffic will be parted so people can reach the protest from the bus stop across Rivers Ave.