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Q+A with Savannah Brennan of Charleston Moves

Savannah Brennan is the Director of Programming for the nonprofit Charleston Moves.

a bicycling gathering

A gathering to support Ride of Silence.

Photo by: Luke Higgs

City Editor Erika here. I recently caught up with Savannah Brennan of Charleston Moves to understand the ways the nonprofit is helping the community.

For those unfamiliar with the nonprofit, can you give a quick rundown on Charleston Moves?

Charleston Moves is a mobility advocacy nonprofit serving Charleston County, focusing on bicycle, pedestrian, and public transit infrastructure. We believe that when streets are designed to prioritize people, everyone benefits. It’s critically important — for livability and quality of life — that citizens have the freedom of choice in transportation. When we can comfortably ride a bike, walk, or use public transit, it means equitable opportunities and better access to affordable food, healthcare, housing, and job security. It means an improved local economy. It means opportunities for civic engagement. It means cleaner air and water, climate change mitigation, improved public health, and reduced traffic congestion. It’s an all-around win.

What is your role with Charleston Moves?

I am the nonprofit’s Director of Programming. As a small (yet mighty) staff of two, I have the privilege of being involved in all our projects and wearing many hats for the organization.

Ashley River Crossing Bridge Rendering

Ashley River Crossing Bridge rendering.

Photo by the City of Charleston.

What are some of the recent projects Charleston Moves has been involved with?

Our priority projects have focused on inaccessible river crossings. Charleston County is surrounded by water, the equitable mobility pinch points tend to be bridges. A signature project of Charleston Moves has been advocating for the City of Charleston’s Ashley River Crossing, for which there was a groundbreaking ceremony just last month. We are also intensely focused on advancing a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian bridge at the North Bridge crossing (between North Charleston and West Ashley).

In addition to behemoth bridge projects, we work on everything from corridor-wide improvements to intersection-specific upgrades. Our charge is to always be at the table so there is a constant and steady voice advocating for people-oriented infrastructure and policies.

How can those interested get involved?

Being a grassroots organization, our work is people-powered. We regularly share project updates, calls to action, volunteer opportunities, and event invitations. The best way to get plugged in is by joining our newsletter, signing up to volunteer, and keeping tabs on our Take Action page. Folks can also follow us on social media on Facebook and Instagram.

Does Charleston Moves have anything exciting coming up?

Each May, we host Mobility Month, a celebration of complete streets. The series of events aims to bring the community together to elevate multi-modal accomplishments, provide updates on our priority projects, and offer calls to action and volunteer opportunities to advance our people-powered movement. Outside of this program (and Pedal & Panache, our super fun annual fall party), we rally the community whenever an advocacy push is needed. These are often critical mass bike rides, petition/survey/letter-writing campaigns, data collection opportunities, and more.

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