Back in 200 BC, the Han Dynasty opened the Silk Road to get their goods to buyers in foreign markets. It would be centuries before the gasoline engine would be invented, yet the Han People created a Golden Age for themselves that lasted over 400 years.
Roads enhance trade…it’s a fact tested by time. We need look no further than our own Palmetto Commerce Parkway, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this April 2016. Our County’s leaders acted courageously in support of their Economic Developer’s advice: finish the Parkway and Charleston County will enjoy unprecedented investment. Since the Parkway’s opening in April 2011, we can count twenty-eight specific transactions that were a direct result of this investment in infrastructure.
I first coined the phrase “The Boeing Corridor” five years ago. Now even the senior leadership refers to the Parkway‘s path as their “northern campus”. How great is that! Daimler’s massive expansion is well underway, (the pine tree-clearing is jaw-dropping) this site selection victory was cemented by the Parkway’s promise to bring the labor and materials necessary to manufacture five models of the Mercedes Benz Vans.
I’m calling on our entire community to celebrate the Palmetto Commerce Parkway and throw a huge 5th birthday party this coming April. I would invite our Governor and our State’s senior leadership to witness firsthand the direct connection between infrastructure and Charleston Industrial real estate. The return on investment to the County’s taxpayers is huge and I’m hoping someone can put a number to it by April.
Let’s get going already, Legislators! Better roads bring better business; we’ve known this for centuries. Tax my gas and make specific investments with that revenue. We need to move people and cargo for decades to come. The Palmetto Commerce Parkway provides one very clear lesson in how this works for all of us.
Next Month: “How 2016 Will Be Different”