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GSP Tiger

Spartanburg: The 2010s

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Noticing how Greenville has a topic for wishes and ideas to happen by 2020, I thought it should be fitting to discuss possibilities, wishes, and ideas to improve the quality of life in the Hub City and the farthest extents of Spartanburg County in the current decade, the 2010s.

Instead of creating a list of various ideas in my head, I will share some as I think them out.

Asheville Highway road diet

Asheville Highway was the major throughfare for traffic into Spartanburg's downtown from the old Interstate 85, and was the original routing for US 176. The federal highway shifted over to Pine Street, which traffic was spurred through Interstate 585. The major interstate was relocated, and the original was renamed Business 85.

Though it still has traffic, it does not have enough to warrant six lanes. Also, bottlenecking at Hearon Circle can be hectic.

Narrowing the road to four lanes, a tree lined median, and bike lanes is a simple project that can be realized in several years, restore a community feel, and encourage new successful endeavors.

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I think that a road diet on Asheville Highway is something that is likely to happen in the next 10 years. Nationwide, the trend is towards skinnier streets, and I know that it is on the SPATS radar.

In this decade I hope to see many more road diets including:

  • East Main from Converse to Pine

  • Converse from St John to Henry

  • West Main from Daniel Morgan to Reidville Rd

  • Daniel Morgan Ave between Henry and St John (this would help the Grain District tremendously)

  • Union Street

  • Magnolia St from St John to Daniel Morgan

  • Broad Street

  • St Andrews St

  • Marion Ave

I could probably go on and on with this list. There are way too many unnecessarily wide streets in Spartanburg. Road diets come in many forms, and can be as simple as restriping the road for fewer lanes. This usually comes when the roads are resurfaced, so much of what happens is dependent on SCDOT's resurfacing schedule.

This is a good topic. I'm sure we'll all think of things over time. There's a lot more than road diets too.

My #1 item on any list I would make is the Downtown Master Plan and Urban Code. These two documents are going to set the stage for all future development in downtown and will change Spartanburg for the better for decades to come.

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I disagree with you on giving Daniel Morgan Avenue and Union Street road diets. These are both state highways (SC 296 and 56) that still carry significant traffic.

Thinking about East Daniel Morgan Avenue, the stretch from North Church to North Pine streets can use a greenery median. Such beautification efforts may spur interest in vacant land adjacent to Marriott that needs use to its potential.

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No they don't. Parts of Daniel Morgan might, but not where I'm suggesting a road diet.

Union St carries about 16,900 vehicles per day. We've dieted roads in Charlotte that cary 20+ from 4 to 3 lanes and it actually functions BETTER. 17k is no problem. Daniel Morgan Ave carries about 6k-7k (I can't tell which section is listed on that spreadsheet). Either way, 4 lanes is entirely too wide for both. They can easily function with 3 or less in some cases.

Based purely on empirical evidence, I think both of these streets could easily function with one travel lane in each direction, bike lanes, and a center turn lane. On Daniel Morgan you could trade the turn lane for on street parking, which IMO is needed much more than anything else.

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Downtown grocer: Bringing a supermarket to Renaissance Park

Spartanburg's downtown has lacked a full scale supermarket. Community Cash had two stores on West Main Street (rental business) and East Main Street (now Talbot's). Bi-Lo and Ingle's once had small stores on Reidville Road, presently John B. White Boulevard. Residents usually travel three miles to the Hillcrest area to patronize Bi-Lo, Publix, The Fresh Market, Walmart, and Ingle's.

Similar to Publix's McBee Station store in Greenville, downtown Spartanburg can easily support a 30,000 square foot supermarket with your necessary departments and items. Such a store can be intergrated into a massive mixed use project downtown, possibly adjacent to the Mariott.

Another site for a potential supermarket would be the old Ingle's site on John B. White Boulevard. Though the structure was demolished in the past four years, the site is large enough to accomodate new development including a large size supermarket. Ingle's presently owns the land, and has attempted to sell it. They are going back to old store sites to build new stores, such an example is in Anderson.

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I like that idea. While the Renaissance Park idea makes sense, I think if you can get it closer to Converse Heights (like somewhere on Henry St) then you'd get it convenient to the high-end market, while still providing a grocer to all of the other in town neighborhoods that don't have one.

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