A growing number of communities across the US and in South Carolina are creating Bicycle and/or Pedestrian Master Plans. These are plans for developing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in a community, with emphasis on promoting bicycling and walking as a viable transportation option and fostering a practical, safe, and enjoyable environment for bicycling and walking
The Master Plan presents a comprehensive review of the many policies, procedures, and practices--as well as the physical infrastructure of your community--that affect bicycling and walking. It recommends the ways a community can make bicycling/walking safer and more convenient, such as street improvements, bicycle parking facilities, new city policies, and education programs.
In 2006, the Columbia Area Transportation Study (CATS) orchestrated a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for the Midlands region of South Carolina. This plan can be viewed here.
In 2009, the City and County of Spartanburg, the Spartanburg Area Transportation Study (SPATS), and the Mary Black Foundation created a comprehensive countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. This plan can be viewed here.
Of course, a natural setback of any developed plan is that it runs the risk of not being implemented and simply sitting on a shelf 'collecting dust.' Our friends at Bikeville in Greenville are launching an ambitious Bicycle MP for the City that certainly will defy this stereotype. Be sure to check out the FAQ section of that website; it shares important information about the plan and process. It is crucial that citizens be active in this process and share their feedback. A community workshop occurred last month, and another workshop in on the books to occur in early 2011.
The Augusta Regional Transportation Study (ARTS) is reviewing and updating their Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan for 2011. Additionally, Aiken County is also seeking an expanded analysis and supplemental study for the County bicycle and pedestrian system. According to ARTS,
"In response to the new livability and sustainability communities program focus that has been initiated through the US Department of Transportation we will seek to develop a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan that not only identifies projects, but also develops the framework for a dynamic multi modal program that can be embraced by the public and easily re-evaluated on a regular basis."
Finally! We just heard word that the Advanced Materials Center (ACM), a 260 acre research campus in Anderson SC, has completed its Master Plan which includes significant bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure throughout. The campus is being developed in phases, and the funds are Federal with a local match from Innovate Anderson. SCDOT is asking for input on this funding, and you have until December 21 to share comments with them. For further information about the ACM Master Plan, contact Rachael.
We're thrilled to be seeing this momentum towards master plans throughout the state that include bicycle and pedestrian components. These are crucial steps towards getting more infrastructure on the ground and making our streets safer for all.