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krazeeboi

Complete the Streets initiative

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Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street.

Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their orientation toward building primarily for cars. Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation agencies routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users. Places with complete streets policies are making sure that their streets and roads work for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as for older people, children, and people with disabilities.

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The website can be found here.

With all of the streetscaping recently completed and planned for Columbia, this should fit in perfectly. I'm actually disappointed that bikers haven't been given space along Lady and in Five Points.

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Complete streets are an integral part of new urbanism. I would expect Canalside and Bull St to have bike lanes or paths.

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And I would hope city leaders would take note and attempt to implement them citywide.

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It would make them the most progressive in the state if they did. SCDOT is starting to integrate the concept into its newer roads, but only on complete overhauls from what I've seen.

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I totally agree with the complete streets concept, if your going to built it, build it right. But that can greatly increase construction costs. So until the gas tax is increased or some other form of funding becomes available for road construction and maintenance, things like bike lanes and sidewalks will unfortunately be scratched from plans due to funding shortages.

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Exaclty. Thats why we should increase the gas tax (among other reasons)

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On May 18th, the city will be having a "Bike to Work" event, starting at Boyd Plaza at 7:15 a.m. for a ride around the University and the State House grounds and back to Boyd Plaza as an effort to encourage Columbia to become more bicycle friendly. At that event, participants will be asked to identify where they ride so that information can be used to develop official bike routes through Columbia. There will also be committee meetings to pursue this effort.

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I think bike lanes on Huger and Elmwood would be no brainers, for starters. I'm surprised how little the bike lanes on Knox Abbott are used.

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Bike lanes around USC too. Thats a natural fit, with so many bikers at USC.

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An article in this week's edition of the Free Times details efforts the city is making to become bike-friendly.

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Columbia is a great city for bike friendliness. It already has several major things that should make it easy to become bike friendly.

1- Wide streets. It would be very easy to restripe some roads and add bike lanes.

2- Well connected street network. The core urban area has a large grid, providing many opportunities for alternate route signage for bikers.

3- USC. Students and professors bike to USC already. Adding some bike lanes will make it that much easier.

4- Center City revitalization. Urban places downtown are reviving, and people who live there will frequently want other ways to get to their locations. For example, if you lived in the Vista or on Main St, it wouldn't be a big deal to ride your bike down tow Publix to grab a few items.

Columbia needs to do more than educate. They need to approve, and not just "consider" new objectives. I would also like to see the City take more leadership and not rely on USC to do it first.

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There is a good article in The State today about suburban traffic congestion.

Does anyone notice a problem with the solutions being proposed (additional turn lanes, widening roads)? This article is the perfect example of what is being done wrong in the Columbia metro.

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That seems to always be the suburban solution - widen roads and build more infrastructure. The obvious solution is to become more urban and densify, but spoiled people require their half acre lots and new subdivisions. If they require this, they should pay for it. I'm so sorry they have to sit in traffic every day, while I get to work in 8 minutes and frequently come home for lunch.

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Other than the glaringly obvious solution- transit- they are not addressing simple ideas like densifying the street network. The reason Clemson Rd sucks is because its the only road to get around on up there. They should add roads and capacity in new locations so that traffic is not all funneled onto Clemson Road. Lake Carolina and The Summit are massive neighborhoods and there are essentially only have two or three roads to access them. Create secondary street networks and establish more connectivity. Obviously the train tracks are an obstacle, but they aren't going any where so they need to be worked around.

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The problem with the Clemson road area is that the developers built out there in the middle of what was nowhere not a decade ago. When they buy huge tracts of land and start developing them, it is hard, if not impossible, to get right of ways for new roads. Usually the only option left to the road builders is to expand the roads already there.

Gridded streets will help a lot, but the builders love the cul-de-sacs because they can get more houses on the property. The builders will tell you that's what people want, but the dirty little secret is builders want them because more houses equals more dollars. They won't change this practice unless they are forced to.

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I don't believe that for a second. If that were the case then none of the central part of Columbia inside of Beltline would exist. The problem is that our government doesn't require through roads like they used to. And quite frankly if that doesn't change, traffic will only get worse. I guarantee that you can't solve traffic problems by widening roads alone. Additional capacity MUST be created in order for the suburban areas to not be completely clogged with traffic 24/7.

Your last statement is right on. Whats wrong with building a subdivision that actually connects to the next one over anyway?

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I don't believe that for a second. If that were the case then none of the central part of Columbia inside of Beltline would exist. The problem is that our government doesn't require through roads like they used to.

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You're right, but like you said, it used to be done because thats just the way it made sense to develop them. That hasn't been true in the more recent past, and look at where its gotten us.

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Richland County is considering asking voters to approve a 1 cent sales tax increase to pay for the needed transportation improvements needed in Columbia. They specifically laud York County's "Pennies for Progress" campaign that successfully got their 1 cent tax passed. The article in The State today notes several major problems in Columbia-Richland:

  • Only 8 miles of bike lanes

  • Sidewalk network dating to the 1960s

  • Lack of bus shelters

  • 150 years to pave all the dirt roads in Richland County

Now, IMO the biggest problem is one that cannot be fixed with funding. This is a direct result of bad policy from Richland County:

Suburban congestion can be traced to the fact that the county doesn

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I see that Hampton and Taylor streets have been repaved, but I don't recall seeing bike lanes being designated along these streets. I think that's a missed opportunity; it isn't like the streets aren't wide enough for them.

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The good thing about Columbia is that there is a great street grid downtown. Most bikers would probably take streets with slower traffic anyway.

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I'm not sure there is enough room for a proper bike lane, but I at least hope that the right lane is wide enough (minimum 14') so that bicycles and vehicles can comfortably share it.

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The lanes could have been narrowed a bit to make room for one, I think. It might just be beneficial overall to make both Hampton and Taylor two-way streets (west of Assembly).

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My perspective is that while I like bike lanes, it is not appropriate to stripe them just for the sake of having them. For a quality bike lane you need at least 4 feet of width, but ideally 5 feet. There is more than likely plenty of room to accommodate them on Hampton/Taylor, but I just don't think those roads make any sense for bikers to be on. Its much better to have a signed alternate route for bikers to follow. If you are biking in downtown Columbia I would think that you would use the narrower, slower, low volume streets to get around.

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