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400 residents pedal for pedestrian safety

400 homeowners pedal for pedestrian safety

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No have to bring your very own bike: Bike share program coming soon to Columbia

More bikes could be hitting downtown Columbia streets this fall as the city plans to introduce a bike share program. Part of Columbia’s advancement towards becoming friendlier to alternative transportation modes, a bike share program has actually been a number of years in the making, with the city recently accepting main proposals to obtain it off the ground. The very first stage of the bike share likely would put 135 bikes at 15 stations around the downtown core at areas such as the State House, Finlay Park and along Main Street, inning accordance with a 2015 study detailing bike share suggestions. A 2nd phase could include another 90 bikes and 10 stations. The study estimated the two phases might cost between $3.4 million and $4 million to start. The exact cost and how the program will be financed will become clearer once a provider is picked, said Krista Hampton, city preparation director. A mix of public resources and private sponsorships could be sought to support the program, the 2015 study suggested. Greenville, Spartanburg and Charleston already have bike share programs, which let people rent bikes from self-serve stations for short- or longer-term usage and return them when they’re done. The bike share program is an item of the city’s 2015 Stroll Bike Columbia master plan, and proposals are being thought about just as the city prepares to host various S.C. mayors for a statewide conference on strolling and biking this Thursday and Friday. As Columbia continues to work toward becoming a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, local cyclists share their ideas on the value of biking and walking, the city’s development and chances for development. Brian Curran, co-owner of Outspokin Bicycles “If you take a look around, you can see that we’re starting to establish some bike infrastructure– parking corrals in the Vista and 5 Points, shared roadways turning up downtown. … Having those broad views of bikes on the street legitimizes bicyclists’ right to be there.” An example for Columbia to follow? Greenville’s Swamp Bunny Trail. “An entire economy has emerged around that trail. Imagine if you could ride from downtown Columbia to Congaree National Park.” Amy Johnson Ely, Palmetto Cycling Coalition executive director “Rome wasn’t integrated in a day. It takes time. Columbia is on fire with interest and commitment to making things much better. … The greatest advantages of enhanced walkability aren’t simply health and economics. It simply produces more dignified public spaces in basic and gain access to for all kinds of people. It’s growth of your social capital.” A huge advantage for Columbia? The transport cent sales tax. “That’s going to help make these things a reality. With the state in a constant budget crunch, there is more utilize to obtain what you desire on state-owned streets.” Brittney Fleenor, Outspokin Bicycles staff member “I have actually seen the biking neighborhood grow in Columbia a lot, and there’s more people on the roadway. However there might be more. … One of the most significant enhancements I have actually seen is the bike lanes have actually been cleaner in the past few years than they have actually been. There was constantly debris (in the lanes).” Columbia bikers’ biggest disadvantage? “The motorists here are not extremely aware of bicyclists on the roadways, especially in the (University of South Carolina) school area. It’s really frequently that somebody will simply continue backing up and not take note that there’s a bicycle rider boiling down the roadway.” Keith Gosselin, Bike Pedestrian Advisory Committee chairman “We have a high portion of people who ride and walk to work, and that’s their only methods of getting there. … We owe it to them to make our streets more secure. They ought to have the ability to bike and stroll security to where they have to go. It’s not a high-end; it’s a necessity for them.” A chance for Columbia? Rewriting city zoning codes, which is in development. “The method we want to rewrite that is de-emphasizing surface area parking … (and emphasizing) bike parking at centers.”

Greg

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