Adopt The Resolution
OUR VIEW: A Bike Path on Broad Street - The Time for Action Is Now W-LETTER OF SUPPORT.
The Clinton City Government has agreed to look into the opportunity of constructing a dedicated bicycle lane on South Broad Street. More than talk, we at The Clinton Chronicle urge the City Council on Sept. 3 to adopt a resolution formally in support of a bike lane on the shoulder of Broad Street.
This would be a lined, marked with diamonds, obvious area for bicycles so that all motorists would know, “This is their spot”. This is a quality of life issue for the City of Clinton, and this is the perfect time to address it.
At 42-feet in width, South Broad Street easily can accommodate a bike path of 5- to 7-feet in width. Trees have been cut down between the sidewalk and the curb; now, the stumps will be ground and removed. When this work is done, the South Carolina Department of Transportation will repave Broad Street.
The City of Clinton purposely moved up the dates for utilities replacement under the shoulders of South Broad Street so the repaving would happen just one time.
The City took a bold, and much-appreciated approach to replacing these aging water and sewer lines. Communities throughout South Carolina face a crisis of aging infrastructure - we, in Clinton, are out ahead of everybody else’s crisis. Now, we need to take the next step.
We need to link North Broad Street with the grocery stores and restaurants of South Broad Street and Jacobs Highway. Sidewalks are for walking. A dedicated bike path would be for those who choose not to walk but, also, do not want to drive. There is no grocery store on the north end - it’s drive or have someone bring the groceries, if you want to access Bi-Lo and Ingles.
Look ahead with us just a minute to Aug. 29. The City is going to invite the student body and faculty of Presbyterian College to the uptown area for a welcome back celebration. The merchants of Clinton have been keenly aware during these lean summer months that this “buying power” has been missing from their places of business. More than that, PC brings a vibrancy of entrepreneurship, culture and athletics that makes our community unique within Laurens County. Plus, they just built new, on-campus dorms! Wouldn’t it be great to see a mass of PC students - on bicycles - move safely from the campus, to the intersection with Highway 76, cross the railroad tracks, and enter the uptown festival. Yes, we’re going to need more bike racks!
As things stand now, PC Nation has to drive from the campus to uptown, or walk as many students do, especially our Chinese friends. While we certainly encourage walking, less driving - and building of parking lots - also is desirable in urban areas.
One observation we took away from the Aug. 10 Flight of the Dove was the abundance of tandem bicycles participating in the “fun run”. Yes, FOTD has the very challenging Metric Century for the serious bicycle enthusiasts; but many people - young and old alike - ride for fitness and convenience on a “bicycle built for two.”
IF - they have a safe and dedicated riding place on South Broad Street. Thornwell Charter School opens in a week - wouldn’t it be great to see those kids biking to school - or even for physical education!? Along this route, the City is going to encourage underground telephone and cable TV wiring, install decorative lighting, and ask property owners to plant smaller, more colorful trees in their yards (not in the space between the sidewalk and the curb). If all this happens, just IMAGINE what a beautiful street we could have - right in the middle of the city!
The key - the linchpin - of this vision is a bike lane on South Broad. We shouldn’t have to pack up our bikes and drive to the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Bicyclists shouldn’t have to face teeth-clattering encounters with rumble-strips on rural roads - and possibly deal with the “road rage” of inconvenienced drivers. With just a little vision, these problems can be confronted, within Urban Clinton - contacts among bike-supporters and people elsewhere who have already invented this wheel have been made. The project is under discussion.
The Clinton City Council just needs to roll out the first step.