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Sonrise

80 and 285: Potential new freeways?

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Sorry, I realized after I wrote the title it seemed like I had some breaking news. Alas, this is only my dream, for now. :thumbsup: I've been thinking about this for a while so I'll run it past you guys. We live in Greer, off of 14, north of Wade Hampton. If we want to head north towards Charlotte we either take main Street (14) which is awfully slow, with snail like speed limits and/or stop lights every few blocks until you get down by the airport and get on the freeway, or we again take WH north to I-85. However about 2 months ago we accidentally discovered Vern Smith Pkwy (80). This road is awesome and already is a de facto freeway. Instead of taking 14 down to WH, I now take Gap Creek all the way down and jump on it. 65-70 mph is no problem and it really should become a true limited access freeway beginnig at 285 with on and off ramps at Wade Hampton, E. Poinsett Ave, hwy's 101, and 14. Where it ends at 14, it should be extended all the way through 85 and then onto 385.

Now, my proposed 285. When we wanna go downtown we have to go down WH and hopefully avoid as many lights as we can. Usually we don't. It can take as little as 21 minutes and as long as 34. A lot of variables. There is a ton of residential development going on here as well as commercial but no freeway access. Here's my proposal:

Build 285, a northern connector loop, starting and ending on 85. It would begin somewhere before Spartanburg around exit 79 and end somewhere between exits 4 and 11 in southern Anderson County. Or vice versa depending on your direction. 285 would connect Clemson, Easley, Greenville, Travelers Rest, Taylors, the blue ridge area of g'ville county, northern Greer, Inman, Boiling Springs and Spartanburg. A northern connector if you will. Exits could include 85,(obviously), 221, 9 (Boiling Springs Rd), 26, 176, 292, 14, 101, 290 (Locust Hill Rd), the 276/25 interchange in TR. (Imagine a clover leaf connecting these 3 freeways here. How cool would that be?), 183, 178, 123 between Clemson and Seneca, 24 and ending/beginning outside of Fair Play.

The Upstate is growing at a more rapid pace than most of the country and in the next 30 years the prospect of us becoming a mini Atlanta is not out of the question. I go down there on business 2-3 x's a week and it's huge. Unfortunately, like most cities in America the infrastructure didn't keep up with the growth. This can be avoided by buiding the 285 and making 80 a real freeway. 285 would be a beautiful road with rolling hills, majestic mts. and lots of lakes either directly besides or below the freeway. Picturesque indeed.

I don't have map software to show the road but again it would be mostly be a semi arc. Another idea would be to connect the beginning of 285 outside of Spartanburg straight through to Rock Hill, in York County another booming area of the state.

So in summation people such as myself who live in the northern side of the county will no longer have to traverse surface streets for 15 minutes with this new freeway access. Instead of going down Highway 14 and then navigating Wade Hampton Blvd., I could make a right, Jump on 285 and in 7 minutes get off the Poinsett Hwy exit and shoot straight downtown. Or if I wanna head to Simpsonville my 25 minute ride would be cut in half as I made that same right on 14 got on the 285/80 connector and took it straight to 385.

I'm a dreamer, a visionary without the funds if you will. :rolleyes: Please go easy on me and thank you for taking the time to read this. Sonrise

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Hey sonrise...I'm not sure where it is (I can't seem to find it), but on here somewhere had been some rather extensive discussion about the Northern Connector which, as I understand it, is already undergoing some study/planning. Your thoughts definitely confirm that it'd be a good idea. :good: Now is definitely the time to put such infrastructure in place before this end of the county gets so over-developed that there's no real estate for it.

EDIT: OK...figured out why I couldn't find the thread...it's because the discussion had been in the Southern Connector thread for some raison. It's about time the Northern Connector idea had a discussion thread of its own because you'll find "northern connector" touched upon in many different threads if you do a search. I think there was also some extensive discussion about it in the Locust Hill Road/SC-290 thread, too.

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The cool thing about new infrastructure of this magnitude is that it breeds residual growth, i.e. new developments, shopping centers (lifestyle centers) schools, and parks. Growth begats growth. I know my 285 proposal is really big but I believe warranted, for the future. Yesterday I was in Atlanta and on my way home I got off the Mall of Georgia exit (about 35 minutes north of Atlanta) and drove around the whole area. Tremendous growth with new housing developments, shopping centers, nice not tackey and all of the roads were getting widened. I really believe that Greenville and the Upstate as a whole is going to see this type of growth in the next 10-15 years and by building new f'ways in advance we will meet that demand head on.

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The cool thing about new infrastructure of this magnitude is that it breeds residual growth, i.e. new developments, shopping centers (lifestyle centers) schools, and parks. Growth begats growth. I know my 285 proposal is really big but I believe warranted, for the future. Yesterday I was in Atlanta and on my way home I got off the Mall of Georgia exit (about 35 minutes north of Atlanta) and drove around the whole area. Tremendous growth with new housing developments, shopping centers, nice not tackey and all of the roads were getting widened. I really believe that Greenville and the Upstate as a whole is going to see this type of growth in the next 10-15 years and by building new f'ways in advance we will meet that demand head on.

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I am not disagreeing with your points, but just playing devil's advocate in order to spur discussion. I think it is going to be a hard sell to convince the powers-that-be that we need to spend money we don't currently have to build a Northern Connector now (rather than waiting 15-20 years until that area is a problem).

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Hey sonrise...I'm not sure where it is (I can't seem to find it), but on here somewhere had been some rather extensive discussion about the Northern Connector which, as I understand it, is already undergoing some study/planning. Your thoughts definitely confirm that it'd be a good idea. :good: Now is definitely the time to put such infrastructure in place before this end of the county gets so over-developed that there's no real estate for it.

EDIT: OK...figured out why I couldn't find the thread...it's because the discussion had been in the Southern Connector thread for some raison. It's about time the Northern Connector idea had a discussion thread of its own because you'll find "northern connector" touched upon in many different threads if you do a search. I think there was also some extensive discussion about it in the Locust Hill Road/SC-290 thread, too.

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...The people who disagree with the "if you build it, they will come" argument will cite projects like the Southern Connector. I think that the Southern Connector will definitely spur growth and development out that way, but it might take some time...

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If you (or someone) will point out where the "Northern Connector" discussion starts, I will pull the posts out for a new topic.

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I remembering starting this thread, Locust Hill Road (SC-290), some time ago. Public meetings are ongoing to determine the course of action to take with this corridor. The objective is to seek a balance between residential, commercial, and rural areas by making minor improvements in necessary areas. The goal is to widen the road to at least four lanes.

The proposed northern connector, I assume would parallel SC-290, will not be needed if SC-290 can accomodate 50,000 vehicles a day. If the road was from Traveler's Rest to Inman and Spartanburg, then I would support a freeway type highway.

Western Greenville County needs a freeway to connect Travelers Rest to I-85 without going through downtown or dealing with the traffic lights on White Horse Road (US-25).

The next interstate that should be considered is a spur leading into Anderson. I-85 Exit 34 (US-29 south) would be a great start, going through Pelzer and Williamston, then hooking up with a road directed into downtown. Why not call it I-785?

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If you (or someone) will point out where the "Northern Connector" discussion starts, I will pull the posts out for a new topic.

I respect your enthuiasm for this idea, but I have some major problems with it.

So, based on your quote above- the question then becomes, do you really want Atlanta style development in Greer? Really?

There's a reason everyone in the Upstate says "we don't want to become the next Atlanta" and there's a reason traffic in Atlanta is horrendous. From a planning perspective, it is NOT wise to build more interstates. I caution you, that as soon as people realize how convenient it is to live in Greer with this proposed road, tons of people will want to live there, and then the roads become clogged (ie: Atlanta), and you will want more lanes (ie: Atlanta), which then attract even more growth (ie: Atlanta). Think about Greenville's most popular suburbs: Mauldin, Simpsonville, Fountain Inn, Greer, Powdersville.... what do they all have in common? Its an endless, unsustainable cycle.

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I know where Spartan is going with this and I have to agree with him. An endless series of freeways is not a sustainable answer. While on the near-term new freeways may seem like a grand idea, more roads beget more growth...which begets more traffic...which begets more roads...it is a seemingly endless cycle of sprawl.

A smart combination of roads for those who absolutely must drive on them combined with mass transit alternatives for the masses would be much better. After all, this is "Urban Planet" and not "Suburban Sprawl Planet." Granted, suburban sprawl issues are one of our favorite topics here, too.

You could easily substitute "Orlando" for "Atlanta" in what he is saying. They've both backed themselves into a hole of "the only way out of this mess is to build more roads or to widen the ones we have to XX lanes." The big difference is that, contrary to what you've said, Atlanta has planned very well for its growth (at least with the freeways). Charlotte, once I-485 is complete, will no doubt soon face the same issues. Charlotte, however, does appear to have been wise enough to begin working on criss-crossing the city with Light Rail Transit (as long as voters don't get coaxed into overturning it) and they do already have a great bus system.

Oddly, it (this sprawl) does appear to be what a majority of Americans want...that house in suburbia near newer/better schools, just a couple of miles from the newest Mega Mart and all of their favorite restaurants and stores...and a nightmarish commute into the city to work. :rolleyes: Well, the commute may be an appealing easy one at first, but if everyone else wants the same thing you do, it'll not remain easy for long.

This point is easily one of the most contested ones that you'll see discussed here and the debate is one that is worthwhile for both sides of the argument do have points which have merrit, depending on what's important to the individual. What's important to me is building upward, using brownfields and not sprawling outward into the green open spaces. What's important to me is that we do have an effective network of roadways to get me to places where I may be in solitude (or close to it) as well as an abundance of well-thought-out and popularly-used mass transit options which gets me to places where the masses gather. What's important to me is a few million fewer cars on the roadways spewing exhaust into the air. What's important to me often times has absolutely nothing to do with "me."

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Well said, RT.

Two points... one con... one pro...

The lack of a "northern connector" will have little impact on local growth. There isn't a shortage of available land for residential development. While it is true that "cheap" land is not necessarily in plentiful supply, a northern connector wouldn't have much of an impact on that.

The I-385 & I-85 interchange is going to challenge downtown Greenville as the center of the Upstate market. One of the advantages of the interchange is that it is centrally located for many people who live in the area. The creation of a "northern connector" will, in the long term, help emphasize downtown Greenville as the center of the Upstate.

Personally, I'd rather see the money used for other purposes, such as funding GTA and other transit options.

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Okay, lemme play devils advocate here. Using that logic one could build a system of freeways smack dab in the middle of Kansas and accoring to you and Spartan tremendous growth would occur. Now of course I am being facitious and that would never happen. The middle of Kansas has a desirability factor on par with Lindsey Grahams approval rating right now.

My point is this area is growing tremendously for many reasons; Good weather, good values, affordable housing, pro business attitude, close proxomity to major cities, so on and so forth. By all accounts this area is poised for steady and continued growth for the next 20-25 years. Wishing it were otherwise won't make it happen. By all accounts it is inevitable. I propose being ahead of the curve and already having the infrastructure in place along with light rail, of course, as opposed to scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off when the population has become 1.6 million and no new freeways haven't been built in 16 years becasue nimbys didn't agree with it.

RT, correct me if I'm wrong but you do live in TR, a nice bedroom suburb of Greenville, not downtown in a condo, correct. So wouldn't you be indicting yourself? You don't have to apologize and feel guilty for what you prefer, it's okay. :thumbsup:

The growth is coming, how we as a community prepare for it will determine where we are in the next 15 years. Anyway, I'm gonna bow out of this topic. I'm obviously in the minority, that's cool, but it's getting a little contentious for my taste and I apologize if I've been a part of it. Sonrise

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No need to bow out. I understand where you're coming from.

The Upstate is booming, and will continue to boom for years to come. Yes, in a perfect world, mass transit, light rail, etc. would be nice. But face it (and I've said this a million times before): PEOPLE LOVE THEIR CARS & AREN'T ABOUT TO GIVE THEM UP! Utopian ideas are fun to discuss, and while they may have had some impact on a small scale in some cities, they're hardly the panacea this area needs, or will embrace.

Yes, we are in dire need of expanded roadways, and new ones as well. I-85 should have been four laned years ago, and 385 should have been three laned. An actual loop should have been constructed around Greenville by now as well.

The idea of a northern connector is a good one, and as time progresses, its viability will be come more evident.

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The lack of a "northern connector" will have little impact on local growth. There isn't a shortage of available land for residential development. While it is true that "cheap" land is not necessarily in plentiful supply, a northern connector wouldn't have much of an impact on that.

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Is there a moderator that could correct the apostrophe error in the title of the this thread? Apostrophe errors are no fun to look at. :shades:

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Is there a moderator that could correct the apostrophe error in the title of the this thread? Apostrophe errors are no fun to look at. :shades:

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^^I could be wrong, but I *think* Sonrise could still edit the first post in this thread and correct it?

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^^I could be wrong, but I *think* Sonrise could still edit the first post in this thread and correct it?

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Wow....who put out the milk for the cats? Such catty comments. :rolleyes:

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I find myself going back and editing mine constantly...I probably have almost as many edited posts as g-man (I think he's still the record holder).

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It's good to see that elitist condesencion isn't absent in the upstate. Downtown, I do have a penchant for foreign words, they're fun and colorful. I agree that I might not always spell them correctly. Sorry about that. Lemme know if this one is proper: DOUCHEBAG

Thanks

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I wouldn't let it bother you, Sonrise...I think Mr. Downtown got up on the wrong side of the bed today. Dictionary.com is one of my best friends. :lol:

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Thanks RT, you're good guy. I loathe internet bullies. Well, all kinds of bullies but especially those that hide behind their keyboard spewing out arrogant blather that adds nothing to the topic. Anyway, it obviously makes him feel big by making others feel small. Sad. Again, thanks. I did try and add a lil' levity in my last post while getting my point across. It made me laugh at least. :whistling:

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I'm not sure what's going on with the quote thing. It seems to be a bug. I'll check with the admins on that one.

I didn't know that you spoke for everyone in the upstate. Or did you take a poll? lol I would love for the upstae become the next Atlanta, if it's done right. Atlanta's traffic is horrendous because they didn't have the foresight to plan in advance and had to constantly scramble to keep up with the growth by continuing to widen freeways as opposed to having them already in place. Many prognosticators are predicting that we will indeed become a mini atlanta in the next 25 years despite your protests to the contrary. For you to say that it isn't wise to build new freeways with this probable growth coming is "bass akwards" in my opinion. If it is a fait accomplie why wait until it's too late? Apparently by what you wrote you're a proponant of inconvenience. With all due respect Spartan, I agree with nothing you wrote. But hey, that's why they make vanilla and chocolate. :thumbsup:

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