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I Have A Huge Problem With Greenville Planning. Is There A Solution?

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We relocated to Greenville from the Charlotte area, and while I like Greenville, and while I see and appreciate the area's advantages, I have a HUGE problem with the way in which infrastructure planning/execution is handled.

What specifically? 

When looking at her peers, namely Rock Hill, the Greenville area falls far behind, with respect to roads, planning, signage, and lighting.  For as much as York County itself is lacking,  the County has comprehensive plans, at both the micro and macro level.  Conversely, the Greenville area does have comprehensive plans in place, but only for select areas and roads.

What is my issue with Greenville?  The County's online presence, when it comes to planning/infrastructure, is simply poor.  If anything, it tells residents that much of the County is run like an unmanned train;  street signage in many areas is poor; signs are small, oftentimes faded, etc.  The street lighting, on many roads, features lighting with short truss arms.  A perfect example is Pelham Road:  a five lane road, whose lighting fixtures are much like those found on narrow side streets - rendering the streetlights ineffective, yet no one notices nor do they care.  Another issue:  many roads lack sufficient left and right hand turning lanes, and unlike our neighbor NC, developments go up, yet no turning lanes are installed.

What's alarming is that our area continues to add residents, and many buildings are placed in close proximity to the roadside - making future road improvements unfeasible.  I have never seen such a scenario...when I lived in NC, I used to think that the NC DOT was road alignment happy, until I moved here; have *any* major roads been realigned?    Traveling in one direction, often requires a series of turns/change of roads.

What's going on here?  Is it a matter of our area lacking proper infrastructure planning departments/personnel, or what...?  Is the County not leaning on the State for proper representation?  The State seems to be sitting on a lot of newfound gas tax revenue, yet no one is acting.

I don't get it, and this thread is not for the purpose of complaining, as much as it is drawing forth answers and possible solutions.  Ours is a lovely area, yet if we continue to add population while ignoring the infrastructure, at some point, our quality of life will go down.

 

 

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Is Rock Hill a peer? It's a suburb while Greenville is the principal city of a metro area. Don't let city limit population trick you. This is a greatly inaccurate representation of Grenville's true size. The dynamics are different.

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3 hours ago, motonenterprises said:

Is Rock Hill a peer? It's a suburb while Greenville is the principal city of a metro area. Don't let city limit population trick you. This is a greatly inaccurate representation of Grenville's true size. The dynamics are different.

That's a fair point - and given that Greenville is the principal city in our region, shouldn't all the more attention be paid to her?  And why is York County ahead of Greenville, when it comes to her infrastructure (not that York County is *the* model of excellence, in the area of planning).

*** 

Unfortunately, when people hear the concern that I raise over our infrastructure, it's seen as complaining on my part.

I assure everyone,  I am not complaining;  why is the system not "fine tuned," and what can be done to improve it?  Have our local reps not pressed the SC DOT for additional funding, for what is the State's most POPULATED County?  Are our local representatives unconcerned?  What is it? 

 

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Low taxes is probably the main culprit. You have to remember also that the state gas tax just started going up for the first time in years and years and years in 2018. Takes a while for that money to funnel through with the construction bid processes and all. 

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10 hours ago, NDL said:

What's alarming is that our area continues to add residents, and many buildings are placed in close proximity to the roadside - making future road improvements unfeasible.  I have never seen such a scenario...when I lived in NC, I used to think that the NC DOT was road alignment happy, until I moved here; have *any* major roads been realigned?    Traveling in one direction, often requires a series of turns/change of roads.

 

Realigning roads does happen here, but only in the sense of eliminating those 'suicide island' intersections or changing an acute intersection angle to 90 degrees.  We're proud of our low taxes, and that shows in the roads.  Several major roads I travel on are hopelessly pot-holed, which should have been addressed by the gas tax increase.   They have to go behind every major rain and patch as best they can so that cars don't have to dodge into the oncoming traffic to avoid a major bump.

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6 hours ago, NDL said:

That's a fair point - and given that Greenville is the principal city in our region, shouldn't all the more attention be paid to her?  And why is York County ahead of Greenville, when it comes to her infrastructure (not that York County is *the* model of excellence, in the area of planning).

*** 

Unfortunately, when people hear the concern that I raise over our infrastructure, it's seen as complaining on my part.

I assure everyone,  I am not complaining;  why is the system not "fine tuned," and what can be done to improve it?  Have our local reps not pressed the SC DOT for additional funding, for what is the State's most POPULATED County?  Are our local representatives unconcerned?  What is it? 

 

That probably has more to do with it being a Charlotte suburb. Personally I don't see much wrong with our infrastructure. Not enough for me to complain about. Nothing like traffic etc in bigger cities.

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It sounds like what you're looking for is efficiency in vehicular movement, and over-engineered roadways. Greenville County has room to improve on a lot of things, but the extent to which you advocate for road improvements is poorly advised, IMO. I don't wish Greenville to become anything like Florida's metros, where, yes, the infrastructure is incredibly nice, but the roadways can be quite dangerous (not to mention bland).  

Here is some perspective that I can add: this has become a major problem in Fairfax County, where VDOT and the county have spent outrageous amounts of money to alleviate traffic slowdowns. Now that Metro has more of a presence in the county with the Silver Line, they're having to grapple with the incredibly dangerous scenario they've created. The roadways are unsafe for anyone not in a car (pedestrians and cyclists). The metro line extension in the County was expensive, and now so is any remedy to enable humans to actually use the recently-built transit system. Give me some congestion, and save me the body count.

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York County has had a Local Option Capital Sales Tax for many years. I believe it was one of the first counties, if not the  very first one, to enact it.  It is a 1 cent sales tax that goes only to York County infrastructure.  These are allowed to run  for seven years but can be re-approved for successive seven year periods. I know the first  seven years was strictly for roads and included widening I-77 to either six or eight lanes from whatever it was already.  It has been re-approved every 7 years since the beginning, I believe.  I know it barely passed the first time, but was re-approved the second time by a massive majority. 

It was enacted in the early  or mid'90's IIRC.  Considering the hundreds of millions that has raised since then, it isn't surprising at all  to see a major difference between them and our area.    

 

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1 minute ago, vicupstate said:

York County has had a Local Option Capital Sales Tax for many years. I believe it was one of the first counties, if not the  very first one, to enact it.  It is a 1 cent sales tax that goes only to York County infrastructure.  These are allowed to run  for seven years but can be re-approved for successive seven year periods. I know the first  seven years was strictly for roads and included widening I-77 to either six or eight lanes from whatever it was already.  It has been re-approved every 7 years since the beginning, I believe.  I know it barely passed the first time, but was re-approved the second time by a massive majority. 

It was enacted in the early  or mid'90's IIRC.  Considering the hundreds of millions that has raised since then, it isn't surprising at all  to see a major difference between them and our area.    

 

Interesting. This makes a difference.

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I think a lot of these problems could be solved with a proper Urban Growth Boundary. Greenville has an almost insatiable bloodlust for unchecked outward growth. Developers are given free reign to build further and further out, creating more and more sprawl. This means more roads to maintain and more traffic problems to try and alleviate. When the go-to solution is "um... add more lanes?" then you aren't thinking about the problem in the right way.

We need to put an end to sprawl. It will only get worse. Our attention should be turned inwards... revitalizing and taking advantage of the land already within Greenville's developed boundaries. This way we can focus money on fixing our current problems instead of creating new ones. If not, we're looking at a future that resembles the endless concrete and asphalt wastelands that Atlanta and Charlotte and Nashville have become.

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57 minutes ago, StrangeCock said:

I think a lot of these problems could be solved with a proper Urban Growth Boundary. Greenville has an almost insatiable bloodlust for unchecked outward growth. Developers are given free reign to build further and further out, creating more and more sprawl. This means more roads to maintain and more traffic problems to try and alleviate. When the go-to solution is "um... add more lanes?" then you aren't thinking about the problem in the right way.

We need to put an end to sprawl. It will only get worse. Our attention should be turned inwards... revitalizing and taking advantage of the land already within Greenville's developed boundaries. This way we can focus money on fixing our current problems instead of creating new ones. If not, we're looking at a future that resembles the endless concrete and asphalt wastelands that Atlanta and Charlotte and Nashville have become.

I believe we've stayed away from this approach because of what's happened in places like Portland. Their Urban Growth Boundary ultimately led to more sprawl. Greenville County's new comprehensive plan (which was just voted in last week) offers solutions to this though. I'd recommend checking it out if you haven't yet. 

Here's a good article about what's happened in Portland: https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbeyer/2017/03/29/portlands-urban-growth-boundary-a-driver-of-suburban-sprawl/#2c8634766964

Edited by Den2Gvl
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19 hours ago, gman430 said:

Low taxes is probably the main culprit. You have to remember also that the state gas tax just started going up for the first time in years and years and years in 2018. Takes a while for that money to funnel through with the construction bid processes and all. 

 

14 hours ago, bikeoid said:

Realigning roads does happen here, but only in the sense of eliminating those 'suicide island' intersections or changing an acute intersection angle to 90 degrees.  We're proud of our low taxes, and that shows in the roads.  Several major roads I travel on are hopelessly pot-holed, which should have been addressed by the gas tax increase.   They have to go behind every major rain and patch as best they can so that cars don't have to dodge into the oncoming traffic to avoid a major bump.

I am not challenging what you both wrote, but sincerely ask:  are Greenville County's taxes that much lower than York County's?

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14 hours ago, GvilleSC said:

It sounds like what you're looking for is efficiency in vehicular movement, and over-engineered roadways. Greenville County has room to improve on a lot of things, but the extent to which you advocate for road improvements is poorly advised, IMO. I don't wish Greenville to become anything like Florida's metros, where, yes, the infrastructure is incredibly nice, but the roadways can be quite dangerous (not to mention bland).  

Here is some perspective that I can add: this has become a major problem in Fairfax County, where VDOT and the county have spent outrageous amounts of money to alleviate traffic slowdowns. Now that Metro has more of a presence in the county with the Silver Line, they're having to grapple with the incredibly dangerous scenario they've created. The roadways are unsafe for anyone not in a car (pedestrians and cyclists). The metro line extension in the County was expensive, and now so is any remedy to enable humans to actually use the recently-built transit system. Give me some congestion, and save me the body count.

Many of the roads that traverse the Eastside, and in and around Greer, feature two lanes, on top of which are developments with some density.  I would have loved to see an alignment of roads, and if not that, it would be great if the City/County/State mandated that the roads that serve new developments, feature right and left hand turning lanes.  At the very least, it would keep traffic moving (to some extent).  Currently, when a motorist seeks to make a left turn, the only travel lane gets cut off from use.  This could be a problem for emergency vehicles.

12 hours ago, vicupstate said:

York County has had a Local Option Capital Sales Tax for many years. I believe it was one of the first counties, if not the  very first one, to enact it.  It is a 1 cent sales tax that goes only to York County infrastructure.  These are allowed to run  for seven years but can be re-approved for successive seven year periods. I know the first  seven years was strictly for roads and included widening I-77 to either six or eight lanes from whatever it was already.  It has been re-approved every 7 years since the beginning, I believe.  I know it barely passed the first time, but was re-approved the second time by a massive majority. 

It was enacted in the early  or mid'90's IIRC.  Considering the hundreds of millions that has raised since then, it isn't surprising at all  to see a major difference between them and our area.    

 

York Co has made good use of their "Penny's With Progress" program;  no question about it.  Even so...York Co's online "presence" tells me that some degree of infrastructure planning takes place.  Conversely, Greenville has a very poor online presence when it concerns planning/infrastructure, which makes me wonder about how much attention planning/infrastructure receives.

And I am not even talking about large budgetary increases; I am simply talking about spending money more wisely.  As I mentioned earlier, much of the lighting along Pelham Road features short truss arm fixtures, which illuminate the sidewalk, and little else.

Taxpayers are spending money on inefficient lighting, whose placement doesn't illuminate the roads.  The problem with the lighting setup is quite obvious, yet nothing is done, which makes me think that the "system" is either apathetic, or that a proper "system" hasn't yet been put into place.

 

 

14 hours ago, motonenterprises said:

That probably has more to do with it being a Charlotte suburb. Personally I don't see much wrong with our infrastructure. Not enough for me to complain about. Nothing like traffic etc in bigger cities.

Here's my perspective:  it isn't today's conditions which concern me; it's what will likely become tomorrow's reality.  There's A LOT of open land on the Eastside of Greenville, which comes in the form of single residency homes, which sit upon several acres.   At some point, these huge parcels will be redeveloped, into new, dense, housing developments.  Traffic is bearable now, but at some point, many more cul-de-sac developments will be built, whose sole dependence is upon secondary roads (no neighborhood cut throughs).  It's at that point when Greenville's traffic will be terrible, and it fixing the issue will have become cost prohibitive.

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It's not as simple as "Greenville doesn't plan." IMO, it's not really fair to compare to the two on a one-to-one basis. Look at where Charlotte was when it was half the size it is now, and you'd probably see the same types of issues that you see in Greenville (and the Upstate as a whole) today. 

 

South Carolina, in general, is not all that interested in any type of meaningful planning outside of city governments. So, Greenville (city) does a great job of planning. The County... not as much. But the same is true for most of SC with the exception of Charleston and Beaufort Counties, and maybe Richland to some extent. I personally worry about the future of the Upstate because of the disjointed or lack of any meaningful approaches to implement what little planning does happen outside of cities. It's eventually going to get built out in a linear, but very "ATL" style road system that will be damn hard to fix. IMO, a lot of it is related to state-level politics, and SC keeps a tight reign on local governments. You also have to understand that SC cities are artificially small relative to their MSA stats. Greenville may be 'technically' smaller than Gastonia, but anyone who goes to both would clearly see that Greenville is the much, much larger city. The inability to annex means affects city funding levels from a direct revenue standpoint and from the standpoint of being able to plan over a large geography. In NC, up until a few years ago, cities could involuntarily annex, meaning that when a new subdivision was added on the edge of town, it got annexed within a few years. So, in a sense, NC has artificially large cities - but also more financially healthy cities with more opportunity to affect and manage growth.

 

On top of that, North Carolina and South Carolina transportation planning are quite different. It's true that taxes are a part of it - NC has had higher gas taxes for longer, and that has helped funding for road construction and maintenance, but there are other distinctions too. In South Carolina, SCDOT controls almost all the roads, and operates with more direct control over local decisions compared to NC.  If they don't like an idea, it doesn't happen. Period. In North Carolina, NCDOT only controls major highways and streets that are not within an incorporated city/town/village. So while they have the same level of control the streets they maintain, NC cities have more direct control over their streets and can plan an implement accordingly. Generally speaking, you tend to only see the larger cities take advantage of this - Charlotte in particular has a large transportation department of its own. So, despite the traffic congestion and confusing layout of Charlotte's streets, Charlotte has been fairly proactive about transportation planning since the 40s - and has invested heavily in moving vehicular traffic around since then. They've only recently (like in the past 20 years) been on the forefront of complete streets, and it will take a long time to fix everything. 

 

I can go on forever about this. My point is that it's not really an apples to apples comparison, so it's not fair to Greenville to Charlotte. Compare Greenville to Columbia or Charleston. That's all fair game, and IMO those other SC metros aren't doing any better.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Spartan said:

It's not as simple as "Greenville doesn't plan." IMO, it's not really fair to compare to the two on a one-to-one basis. Look at where Charlotte was when it was half the size it is now, and you'd probably see the same types of issues that you see in Greenville (and the Upstate as a whole) today. 

 

South Carolina, in general, is not all that interested in any type of meaningful planning outside of city governments. So, Greenville (city) does a great job of planning. The County... not as much. But the same is true for most of SC with the exception of Charleston and Beaufort Counties, and maybe Richland to some extent. I personally worry about the future of the Upstate because of the disjointed or lack of any meaningful approaches to implement what little planning does happen outside of cities. It's eventually going to get built out in a linear, but very "ATL" style road system that will be damn hard to fix. IMO, a lot of it is related to state-level politics, and SC keeps a tight reign on local governments. You also have to understand that SC cities are artificially small relative to their MSA stats. Greenville may be 'technically' smaller than Gastonia, but anyone who goes to both would clearly see that Greenville is the much, much larger city. The inability to annex means affects city funding levels from a direct revenue standpoint and from the standpoint of being able to plan over a large geography. In NC, up until a few years ago, cities could involuntarily annex, meaning that when a new subdivision was added on the edge of town, it got annexed within a few years. So, in a sense, NC has artificially large cities - but also more financially healthy cities with more opportunity to affect and manage growth.

 

On top of that, North Carolina and South Carolina transportation planning are quite different. It's true that taxes are a part of it - NC has had higher gas taxes for longer, and that has helped funding for road construction and maintenance, but there are other distinctions too. In South Carolina, SCDOT controls almost all the roads, and operates with more direct control over local decisions compared to NC.  If they don't like an idea, it doesn't happen. Period. In North Carolina, NCDOT only controls major highways and streets that are not within an incorporated city/town/village. So while they have the same level of control the streets they maintain, NC cities have more direct control over their streets and can plan an implement accordingly. Generally speaking, you tend to only see the larger cities take advantage of this - Charlotte in particular has a large transportation department of its own. So, despite the traffic congestion and confusing layout of Charlotte's streets, Charlotte has been fairly proactive about transportation planning since the 40s - and has invested heavily in moving vehicular traffic around since then. They've only recently (like in the past 20 years) been on the forefront of complete streets, and it will take a long time to fix everything. 

 

I can go on forever about this. My point is that it's not really an apples to apples comparison, so it's not fair to Greenville to Charlotte. Compare Greenville to Columbia or Charleston. That's all fair game, and IMO those other SC metros aren't doing any better.

 

 

Some excellent points Spartan. I'll also add the fact that SC has the 4th largest highway system in the country in total miles, not per capita. That figure could be a little outdated as I haven't seen an updated figure in a couple of years, but it's basically 4th. To me, that is a staggering fact, especially when you take into account how small the state is geographically. And with a low population over the decades, there just have not been many funds going into maintaining such a large highway system. There are lots of needs around the state and not just in the metropolitan areas. Most rural roads have bridge issues, a total lack of shoulders, and don't get resurfaced nearly enough.  

BTW NDL, nice to see you over on UP;  didn't realize you had an account here. Welcome!

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9 hours ago, Den2Gvl said:

I believe we've stayed away from this approach because of what's happened in places like Portland. Their Urban Growth Boundary ultimately led to more sprawl. Greenville County's new comprehensive plan (which was just voted in last week) offers solutions to this though. I'd recommend checking it out if you haven't yet. 

Here's a good article about what's happened in Portland: https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbeyer/2017/03/29/portlands-urban-growth-boundary-a-driver-of-suburban-sprawl/#2c8634766964

I grew up in Greenville, but live in Portland now. So I'm glad you brought Portland up specifically.

The Urban Growth Boundary is overwhelming popular here. It's not perfect, but it absolutely prevents unchecked sprawl. That article is a couple years old, so the biggest change since then is the new law here that virtually eliminates zoning for single-family residences. That would never ever ever go over in Greenville, but it passed here, and will be fascinating to see implemented. Also, the article was written by a guy that promotes "free market principles" in real estate. Now that's not a bad thing necessarily, but it means he doesn't like rules and regulations, so while the article brings up some valid criticism, it was designed to mainly act as a hit piece.

No policy is ever perfect, and no policy is perfect for every community, but the Urban Growth Boundary has worked mostly as intended here (persevering natural spaces in a community that reveres nature), and people really like it. A carbon copy of the UGB would go over like a lead balloon in SC, but the overall principle of it is something that should at least be examined in Greenville... before it's too late.

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Charleston has an Urban Growth Boundary but it is voluntary and only applies to Charleston County. Generally it has been adhered to though.

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9 hours ago, NDL said:

 

I am not challenging what you both wrote, but sincerely ask:  are Greenville County's taxes that much lower than York County's?

I haven't compared, but they are probably comparable, except for the 'penny tax'.  We are very thankful for having found a loophole to shoot down the penny tax when it was last proposed.  (17% tax increase, and possibility to spend on other than roads, as well as taxing groceries)

Edited by bikeoid

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9 hours ago, NDL said:

Many of the roads that traverse the Eastside, and in and around Greer, feature two lanes, on top of which are developments with some density.  I would have loved to see an alignment of roads, and if not that, it would be great if the City/County/State mandated that the roads that serve new developments, feature right and left hand turning lanes.  At the very least, it would keep traffic moving (to some extent).  Currently, when a motorist seeks to make a left turn, the only travel lane gets cut off from use.  This could be a problem for emergency vehicles.

York Co has made good use of their "Penny's With Progress" program;  no question about it.  Even so...York Co's online "presence" tells me that some degree of infrastructure planning takes place.  Conversely, Greenville has a very poor online presence when it concerns planning/infrastructure, which makes me wonder about how much attention planning/infrastructure receives.

And I am not even talking about large budgetary increases; I am simply talking about spending money more wisely.  As I mentioned earlier, much of the lighting along Pelham Road features short truss arm fixtures, which illuminate the sidewalk, and little else.

Taxpayers are spending money on inefficient lighting, whose placement doesn't illuminate the roads.  The problem with the lighting setup is quite obvious, yet nothing is done, which makes me think that the "system" is either apathetic, or that a proper "system" hasn't yet been put into place.

 

 

Here's my perspective:  it isn't today's conditions which concern me; it's what will likely become tomorrow's reality.  There's A LOT of open land on the Eastside of Greenville, which comes in the form of single residency homes, which sit upon several acres.   At some point, these huge parcels will be redeveloped, into new, dense, housing developments.  Traffic is bearable now, but at some point, many more cul-de-sac developments will be built, whose sole dependence is upon secondary roads (no neighborhood cut throughs).  It's at that point when Greenville's traffic will be terrible, and it fixing the issue will have become cost prohibitive.

These are fair points I guess. You said one thing that really hit close to home for me. The road lighting situation definitely needs major improvement. Really no excuse for the lack of lighting on freeways and interchanges. As I was traveling 385 South yesterday going onto 85 North at the interchange it is pretty dark under there. Things kinda meshed in together. Like a dark maze.

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6 hours ago, StrangeCock said:

I grew up in Greenville, but live in Portland now. So I'm glad you brought Portland up specifically.

The Urban Growth Boundary is overwhelming popular here. It's not perfect, but it absolutely prevents unchecked sprawl. That article is a couple years old, so the biggest change since then is the new law here that virtually eliminates zoning for single-family residences. That would never ever ever go over in Greenville, but it passed here, and will be fascinating to see implemented. Also, the article was written by a guy that promotes "free market principles" in real estate. Now that's not a bad thing necessarily, but it means he doesn't like rules and regulations, so while the article brings up some valid criticism, it was designed to mainly act as a hit piece.

No policy is ever perfect, and no policy is perfect for every community, but the Urban Growth Boundary has worked mostly as intended here (persevering natural spaces in a community that reveres nature), and people really like it. A carbon copy of the UGB would go over like a lead balloon in SC, but the overall principle of it is something that should at least be examined in Greenville... before it's too late.

I appreciate that perspective. When talking to planners I've really only heard the negatives about the UGB in Portland, so it's good to know that there are positives. 

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2 hours ago, bikeoid said:

I haven't compared, but they are probably comparable, except for the 'penny tax'.  We are very thankful for having found a loophole to shoot down the penny tax when it was last proposed.  (17% tax increase, and possibility to spend on other than roads, as well as taxing groceries)

What was the 'loophole'?  IIRC the last time (or maybe the time before) the penny tax was proposed, it was for a multitude of recreational projects.  Are you certain about the Local tax applying to food, because the standard sales tax does not. 

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16 hours ago, Spartan said:

It's not as simple as "Greenville doesn't plan." IMO, it's not really fair to compare to the two on a one-to-one basis. Look at where Charlotte was when it was half the size it is now, and you'd probably see the same types of issues that you see in Greenville (and the Upstate as a whole) today. 

 

South Carolina, in general, is not all that interested in any type of meaningful planning outside of city governments. So, Greenville (city) does a great job of planning. The County... not as much. But the same is true for most of SC with the exception of Charleston and Beaufort Counties, and maybe Richland to some extent. I personally worry about the future of the Upstate because of the disjointed or lack of any meaningful approaches to implement what little planning does happen outside of cities. It's eventually going to get built out in a linear, but very "ATL" style road system that will be damn hard to fix. IMO, a lot of it is related to state-level politics, and SC keeps a tight reign on local governments. You also have to understand that SC cities are artificially small relative to their MSA stats. Greenville may be 'technically' smaller than Gastonia, but anyone who goes to both would clearly see that Greenville is the much, much larger city. The inability to annex means affects city funding levels from a direct revenue standpoint and from the standpoint of being able to plan over a large geography. In NC, up until a few years ago, cities could involuntarily annex, meaning that when a new subdivision was added on the edge of town, it got annexed within a few years. So, in a sense, NC has artificially large cities - but also more financially healthy cities with more opportunity to affect and manage growth.

 

On top of that, North Carolina and South Carolina transportation planning are quite different. It's true that taxes are a part of it - NC has had higher gas taxes for longer, and that has helped funding for road construction and maintenance, but there are other distinctions too. In South Carolina, SCDOT controls almost all the roads, and operates with more direct control over local decisions compared to NC.  If they don't like an idea, it doesn't happen. Period. In North Carolina, NCDOT only controls major highways and streets that are not within an incorporated city/town/village. So while they have the same level of control the streets they maintain, NC cities have more direct control over their streets and can plan an implement accordingly. Generally speaking, you tend to only see the larger cities take advantage of this - Charlotte in particular has a large transportation department of its own. So, despite the traffic congestion and confusing layout of Charlotte's streets, Charlotte has been fairly proactive about transportation planning since the 40s - and has invested heavily in moving vehicular traffic around since then. They've only recently (like in the past 20 years) been on the forefront of complete streets, and it will take a long time to fix everything. 

 

I can go on forever about this. My point is that it's not really an apples to apples comparison, so it's not fair to Greenville to Charlotte. Compare Greenville to Columbia or Charleston. That's all fair game, and IMO those other SC metros aren't doing any better.

 

 

Thank you very much, for your edifying reply.

So...locally, Greenville City has it's hand in planning, while the County and State, not so much. 

Do you know if there's any local motivation to rehabilitate the system?

Is there anyone, locally, who might be interested in taking a look at York County's "Penny's For Progress" program?  I lived in York Co for a few years, and the County deserves recognition for the job that they've done.  For while the system can't make up for the deficits that take place at the State level, the County roads are miles ahead, of the roads here.

Do any of our representatives, at the local level, have the wherewithal to take this on,  or is this too much of a hot topic to handle?

 

 

16 hours ago, distortedlogic said:

Some excellent points Spartan. I'll also add the fact that SC has the 4th largest highway system in the country in total miles, not per capita. That figure could be a little outdated as I haven't seen an updated figure in a couple of years, but it's basically 4th. To me, that is a staggering fact, especially when you take into account how small the state is geographically. And with a low population over the decades, there just have not been many funds going into maintaining such a large highway system. There are lots of needs around the state and not just in the metropolitan areas. Most rural roads have bridge issues, a total lack of shoulders, and don't get resurfaced nearly enough.  

BTW NDL, nice to see you over on UP;  didn't realize you had an account here. Welcome!

Thanks for the welcome DL! 

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8 hours ago, bikeoid said:

I haven't compared, but they are probably comparable, except for the 'penny tax'.  We are very thankful for having found a loophole to shoot down the penny tax when it was last proposed.  (17% tax increase, and possibility to spend on other than roads, as well as taxing groceries)

York County's Penny's For Progress program adds a one percent surcharge, to the local sales tax that's levied, and it is *only* used on roads.  What you're saying, is the idea that was floated here, was very different than York Co's program?

 

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***

To anyone interested, check out York Co's "Penny's For Progress" website:

https://www.penniesforprogress.net/

***

York County's tax structure isn't any different than Greenville's.  There might be a way to restructure the system locally, in a way that uses funds more efficiently.

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