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djh1963

Bike-friendly Spartanburg

76 posts in this topic


This is a great development. Everything we can do to promote a safer neighborhood enviroment in the downtown area is awesome. I hope that the trails can eventually lead to the CBD and places like Morgan Square, Marriott, and the CCC.

I talked to a young couple yesterday about a house in Hampton Heights. While I'm not involved in real estate, they know that I love downtown and try to keep up with developments. The house they are looking at is fully renovated, including sub-zero appliances, granite counter tops, etc... It is offered through the Preservation Trust and is very low in cost. However, they are still trying to battle the perception of gangs, drug dealers and all of the other elements that tend to creep into our older neighborhoods.

Hopefully, initiatives like this, plus young families making the investment in downtown will lead to a great rebirth of city living.

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This new set of bike trails is exciting. Does the print paper have a map showing the route?

The article was not very clear. I like that things are starting to expand away from downtown.... while it is important, the area where people live is equally important.

Also, where is the "1.9-mile Mary Black Rail Trail" ? This is the first that I have heard of this.

Any word on where these new street lams will go?

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the Rail trail starts just behind Ricky's Drive in on E Henrey street and runs to Country Club Dr. It is been a great addition to Sparkleburg. It is always busy with walkers , bikers, rollerbladers.

The new street lamps will be placed in Hampton Heights.

Edited by djh1963

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I'm not positive, but I think the Mary Black trail is the one on the old Norfolk Southern line that runs parallel to Pine Street. It has the bright colored markers, benches, and swings along the route. The start of it is at the intersection of Union and Henry Street besides Ribault Eatery. I believe it runs all the way to Country Club, but again, I'm not sure.

i haven't seen a hard copy of the paper yet, but I'll know when I get home.

Ok, I know I'm not blind. DJH and I must have been posting around the same time so I guess now I am positive where the trail runs. :D

Edited by hub-city

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No, my understanding is that this is something different. What you two are referring to is the Hub City Connector, which is apparantly also called the Mary Black Rail Trail... I was unaware of the name preference there. Anway, it does use the old NFS line that runs from Henry St down to Country Club Rd next to Ingles.

This is 1.6 miles of NEW bike lanes and pedestrian paths that will link the southern part of the city from Duncan Park to South Converse to Converse Heights. Its should be separate from, but link to, the 1.9 mile rail trail. My guess it that it will cross paths with it somewhere around Marion St or possibly Alexander St (at Pine St Elem.)

The Hub City Connector website is down, so I can't get any info from that. If anyone else can find that map it would be helpful.

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I think we are all talking around the same thing. The 1.9 mile Mary Black Rail trail is the Henry to Country Club part of the 12 mile Hub-City Connector. The new 1.6 mile bike trail will connect with the current trail at Pine Street and go down Marion and then Spring Street ending at Broad Street.

Edited by hub-city

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Didn't the article say it would end at Barksdale?

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Spartanburg has set a goal to become a deginated bike friendly place by the League of American Bicyclists in 2008. I'm basicly starting this thread to track the progress the City has made. Biketown Spartanburg, as this effort is called, has a website:

http://www.biketownspartanburg.org

The City has already made a big step by recieving an honorable mention last year- the first in the State to recieve any designation of this sort.

  • By the end of summer the City will have:
  • 25 new bike racks
  • 3 new bike lanes (both dedicated and "share-the-lane" markers)

    • 1.10 mi - Forest Street bike lanes and share-the-lane markers
    • 1.60 mi - downtown bike lanes (Marion Avenue and Spring Street)
    • 1.20 mi - Hollywood Street bike lanes and share-the-lane markers

    Those are in addition to the following:

    [*]5.00 mi - Reidville Road (SC 296)

    [*]1.00 mi - Hudson-Barksdale Blvd

    [*]0.25 mi - Chesnee Highway (US 221/Chesnee)

    [*]8.00 mi - SC 101 (Greer)

    [*]5.00 mi - Southport Road (SC 295)

    [*]1.90 mi - Mary Black Rail-Trail

    *bold represents lanes that are in-town which could result in commuter traffic and not just recreational traffic: Total: 6.7 miles by the end of summer

    *There will be a total of 16.7 miles of designated bike lanes connected with the City of Spartanburg.

The above lanes are for urban/mixed traffic travel. There are also about 60 additional miles of designated recreational bike paths in Spartanburg County, bringing the grand total to about 84 miles of designated bike facilities in Spartanburg County.

Other Bike-friendly initiatives in Spartanburg:

  • Biketown-sponsored map of bike friendly routes in Spartanburg (both designated and undesignated).
  • Racks added to several SPARTA busses
  • Shared-use path to be constructed on Willis Road
  • Evins and Cummings Streets near Wofford College were redesignated as bike-friendly boulevards
  • Downtown Master Plan includes "road diets" and addition bike lanes (eg: Converse Street)

A progress report for March 07 can be found by clicking here.

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This is pretty darn impressive and progressive and reminds me of the Complete Streets initiative I mentioned in the Columbia subforum.

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I think its based on that concept. Spartanburg isn't known for being progressive, but I agree that this is definitely one of the more progressive initiatives that the City has undertaken. The new leadership has started to make moves in the right direction.

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It's not online and I don't have the paper in front of me, but there was an article yesterday about the city looking into setting up bike stations throughout different locations and people can come and swipe there credit card, borrow the bike and ride to lunch or exercise. It also mentioned that there would not be a charge unless you didn't return the bike. This is going on in some other countries, but Spartanburg would be the first city in the US to try this. Again, I'm trying to remember details. I should have brought the paper.

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Wow thats impressive. Did it say how many stations? This program is extremely successful in Europe, namely Amsterdam, but I'm sure in other places too.

I have heard of a US city trying it before though. It was a college town in Colorado. It wasn't too successful. The college students ended up stealing the bikes, which became something of a commodity. But I don't know the details of how it worked. Not trying to be a downer here. Just sharing what I know. I hope this program is successful! If this is the first successful city in the US to do this program, we could really gain some major reputation as a bike-friendly place. Up there with Davis, CA which has the most bikers per capita in the US (or something like that). They have bike "congestion" if you can believe that.

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Wow, definitely a progressive move on the part of Spartanburg!

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There is a good article in the HJ today, highlighting the progress of the BikeTown movement so far. There isn't much new information, but I think its one of those "timely" articles given that there is a bicycling competition this weekend that will coincide with Spring Fling.

The highlights are as follows:

  • "In 2003, [sPATS] worked with (the state Department of Transportation) to pass a complete streets policy where anytime a road is resurfaced it's supposed to get a minimum of a two-foot paved shoulder"

  • The number of bike lanes in Spartanburg has more than doubled from about 34 miles to 81.6 miles.

  • Spartanburg is the first city in SC to recieve an honorable mention from the League of American Bicyclists- a significant step in achieving the goal of being designated a bicycle-friendly city by that organization.

So, like I said, not much new, but still good to reinforce this information. I have recently learned that Spartanburg is becoming recognized at the state and national level for its progress and policy towards complete streets that support all modes of transportation, and not just cars.

-------

The SmithBarney Classic is this weekend, coinciding with Spring Fling. This is a closed-circuit multi-lap race that will take place this Friday, May 4. They will loop around Main, Church, Broad, and Converse Streets. Leaders expect about 50,000 people to decend on downtown Spartanburg this weekend for the Classic and Spring Fling.

SmithBarney Classic website.

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Lots of exposure for Sparkle City...keep it up! :thumbsup:

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The race was apparantly a success. But Spring Fling itself was rained out on Saturday. Thats one of the big problems with outdoor festivals. The race was good exposure for the city though. I am going to be interested to see the reults of the even. This is the second year in a row that the main Saturday events have been rained out, and thats very unfortunate.

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I lived in two towns that had bike paths. I'll admit, I got spoiled living in Herndon, VA and Oswego, IL. In Herndon, I had the Old Dominion Bike Path and at 11-15 years of age, this was my only way to get around without relying on someone else driving us. I always rode in groups of 4 or more and the path was patrolled by bike police for those wondering. It allowed us to bike safely to downtown, the recreation center, movie theaters, skating rinks, shopping, etc. Imagine a bike path from downtown Spartanburg to downtown Greenville. That's how it was in VA!

Then I moved to Oswego, the planning was just beginning when I moved away but based on their website http://www.oswegolandparkdistrict.org/main_trails.htm, I left something great. They now have bike paths and parks everywhere. I would love for Spartanburg county to be like this!

Spartanburg is trying but the Willis Road bike path is a joke from what I'm used to. It goes no where and getting to it can be very dangerous. There are no public parks on the Westside...a great place would be where Upwards is at...there is a lake there, why not have a path along it with a nice big park? This is what I'm used to seeing!

I haven't been to the new trail in downtown yet but I would love to see a network of trails in Spartanburg county that connect to parks, shopping, recreation centers, the mall, etc. Right now all I'm reading about and seeing is trails that go no where.

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Boiling Springs could definitely use some trails etc... It would be nice to have one going downtown from BS to cut out having to drive everyday to work. Highway 9 isn't the most bike friendly road.

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Have you seen the new bike/walking trails they are putting in on 295? Very nice.

I think your concerns about the lack of parks in Spartanburg, particularly the westside, are well justified. Thats one of my biggest frustrations about the area. We focus so much on making things pretty with spots of pride and trees, and other decorations that we forget to make things functional too.

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I've heard about the 295 Trail. Will have to run / bike it sometime soon. On Old Furnace the new shoulder they paved when they "patched" it is a joke. I think I read in Spartans post earlier there is a new rule saying all roads being resurfaced get a 2 foot shoulder. The shoulder on Old Furnace isn't functional at all. There is grass growing all in it and it couldn't be more than an inch thick at best with loose gravel all over it.

Edited by huck94

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Good points. But you have to take that as a smal step in the right direction. We used to have no shoulders, so the fact that they there, regardless of condition, is a porsitive sign. The next step becomes further enhancements and more importantly maintenance of existing facilities.

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With the already strong cycling presence in the Upstate and long-term plans in place to enhance that form of transportation in both Greenville and Spartanburg, there is definitely hope that we may see this region become a premiere destination for cycling on a world-class scale. I believe we have that to a certain degree, but not in many areas beyond our city borders. If Greenville can hold onto the US Pro Cycling Championships, there is even more fuel to continue developing our plans. Pro cyclists have really taken notice of this area since last year, and obviously the public is responding to that enthusiasm as well. :shades:

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One of the region's most well known bikie races- The (32nd) Assault on Mt Mitchell started this morning in Spartanburg. 1,600 people showed up this morning at the Memorial Auditorium for the 74 mile race.

Article

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