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Downtown Road Diets

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Below is the City of Spartanburg's twitter feed from last night about City Council's discussion of potential street improvements within downtown. There are some interesting nuggets here. It sounds like one or two road diet projects will likely get funding...



@SpartanburgCity
 

Now: discussion of potential downtown streetscaping projects.

 

Downtown Master Plan calls for converting Dunbar Street between Church and Converse to two-way traffic.Improvements identified by Downtown Master Plan that could move forward. pic.twitter.com/M89r8dFxwD

 

Improving pedestrian access across W Saint John for access to Chapman Cultural Center and The George one possible project.

 

Improving the streetscaping along Magnolia Street to improve business visibility also a possibility.

 

Converse Street between Spartanburg Community College downtown campus and The George could be improved for pedestrians and bicycles.

 

Straightening East Main Street also a possibility, and would increase number of parking spaces, according to Assistant City Manager Story.

 

Improving pedestrian and bicycle access along Daniel Morgan from Henry to W Main also a possibility.

 

Extending the Rail Trail up to East Main Street into downtown also on the list.

 

Daniel Morgan Avenue improvements are top of staff list recommendations to council.

 

Staff looking for Council's highest priority for streetscaping project.


Daniel Morgan "road diet" would be similar to recent streetscaping along West Main Street, according to Story.

 

City Council member Sterling Anderson asks staff to include Kennedy Street on streetscaping list, says no reason for it to be 4 lanes.

 

City manager Memmott says City can afford "one of the big ones" (East Main, Daniel Morgan or Converse) as well as possibly a smaller projectCouncil member Anderson also voices support for straightening East Main.

 

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I'm probably one of the few people out there who isn't bothered by East Main's serpentine routing.  I feel, however, the priorities ought to be (1) St. John Street across from the Chapman Center and USC-George and (2) the Daniel Morgan road diet. St. John's traffic is too fast in this area and Daniel Morgan is too wide for the amount of traffic it carries, especially at the Grain District.

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I was at the meeting last night.  The East Main straightening idea elicited questions and some skepticism from a few council members.  It seemed to me like the Daniel Morgan road diet would have the most support, especially with the momentum in the Grain District and lack of business disruption during construction.

 

It was mentioned that the crossing of St. John might be a smaller expense that could be done in addition to one of the "big-3" (not sure what they're thinking of there--stoplight, hopefully).  Another idea mentioned (as a small project) was streetlights on Church from St. John to the Marriott to make that walk nicer/safer.

 

The $750k for the streetscaping comes from the Broad Street TIF (which actually covers much of the DT core).  The City expects there to be another $750k available in few years (the TIF expires in 2016) to fund whatever isn't chosen in this go-round.

 

One final note: the City has applied for a state grant for the Rail Trail to cross Henry and come up Union to Dean, so that section would be funded that way.  The timeline on the grant (working through DOT, etc) is around 18 months.

 

I would be fine with any of the "big-3".  East Main would refresh that stretch and help encourage more businesses to open.  Converse would help connect SCC (and Rail Trail) to Main and Barnet Park.  And Daniel Morgan would be easy to do and help encourage future construction there.

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I walk or ride my bike down the 100 block of East Main Street at least twice a week. The trees are ugly and the sidewalk is uneven. To me the S configuration is very awkward. Why not try to attract more foot traffic between Denny's Plaza and Morgan Square, especially with SCC downtown campus opening up next month? The city has already spent money on roads and infrastructure for possible future deveolpement behind the Chapman Center and West Main diet. Now is the time to invest in the downtown core to help businesses that are already there (or coming). Most of the projects would help downtown; wish we could do them all.                  

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I tend to agree with Roadscholar. I think that straightening the serpentine portion of Main St would be fantastic. In fact, if City Council decided to move forward with that project I would fully support the decision. The advantage to selecting that project now is that there aren't many businesses there to disrupt, and it would set up that block for the future without worry of any other major work on the street.

 

However, I think the priority needs to be a diet on Daniel Morgan, improving Converse (especially at St John and the George), and followed by Converse St if funding allows. I see those as key transition points into other parts of downtown that are currently very unfriendly to pedestrians. If we can improve those it would help downtown as a whole.

 

After that, my list would be as follows:

 

Magnolia Streetscape

East Main St (Converse to Pine/St John) road diet

Dunbar 2-way conversion

 

I think that the Rail Trail extension into the heart of downtown needs to happen eventually, and should also be a priority... just not with the funding source identified by staff. A road conversion type of project will be more impactful and improve the properties within the TIF district in a more meaningful way. The Rail Trail could recieve different types of funding too, since it is a bike-ped only project.

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I tend to agree with Roadscholar. I think that straightening the serpentine portion of Main St would be fantastic. In fact, if City Council decided to move forward with that project I would fully support the decision. The advantage to selecting that project now is that there aren't many businesses there to disrupt, and it would set up that block for the future without worry of any other major work on the street.

 

However, I think the priority needs to be a diet on Daniel Morgan, improving Converse (especially at St John and the George), and followed by Converse St if funding allows. I see those as key transition points into other parts of downtown that are currently very unfriendly to pedestrians. If we can improve those it would help downtown as a whole.

 

After that, my list would be as follows:

 

Magnolia Streetscape

East Main St (Converse to Pine/St John) road diet

Dunbar 2-way conversion

 

I think that the Rail Trail extension into the heart of downtown needs to happen eventually, and should also be a priority... just not with the funding source identified by staff. A road conversion type of project will be more impactful and improve the properties within the TIF district in a more meaningful way. The Rail Trail could recieve different types of funding too, since it is a bike-ped only project.

 

Just a clarification. The East Main St. road diet east of Converse Street is not in the mix for the streetscape improvements that the council discussed Monday night. It might be a seperate future DOT project????      

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There's a post on the City website detailing the main 3 options and asking for input from citizens on which they would prefer.  You guys can add your thoughts there, if you'd like.

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