Greenville studying how to make streets safer for pedestrians – Charleston Post Courier

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Updated: April 4, 2022 @ 7:10 am
North Pleasantburg Drive is among 64 streets the city of Greenville is studying with plans to enhance pedestrian safety. Conor Hughes/staff

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North Pleasantburg Drive is among 64 streets the city of Greenville is studying with plans to enhance pedestrian safety. Conor Hughes/staff
Greenville is embarking on a comprehensive study of 64 streets throughout the city in an effort to find ways to make them safer for pedestrians.
City Council recently contracted with local engineering firm Stantec for $250,000 to conduct the evaluation, which is expected to continue over the next nine months, culminating in final report around December.
Public Works Director Clint Link said the streets were selected as areas with high vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The city initially started with a list of 36 roads that it planned to look at, but Stantec identified another 10 to add to the scope. Greenville then made the decision to add another 18 near schools throughout the city.
The roads range from busy arteries like North Pleasantburg Drive, which sees an average of about 47,600 vehicle trips a day, to smaller roads like River Street in downtown, which typically sees about 5,400. The study will also encompass roads within neighborhoods throughout the city.
« Adding the school zones was very important, » Link said. « A lot of those streets in those school zones are right in the heart some of these neighborhoods. So we’ll be touching on the neighborhoods as well as our commercial corridors. »
City Councilman John Deworken said he has long wanted to see a formal evaluation done on Greenville’s streets to make the area safer for bikers and walkers. The initiative gained momentum last year after a vehicle struck and killed a 38-year-old woman walking her dog on Augusta Street. 
The fatal wreck prompted calls for changes to Augusta Street, where there was only a narrow space between the sidewalk and road. The city has since started the process of implementing improvements on Augusta, beginning with a road diet earlier this month which included restriping the street to reduce the number of lanes. More extensive improvements are planned for the near future.
But Deworken said the tragedy also pushed the city to look harder at ways to improve safety.
« All eyes on council went to pedestrian safety, » he said.
Over the next nine months, Stantec will evaluate existing road conditions and crash history on each street, Link said. The process will also include public outreach to residents, neighborhood leaders and local officials.
The evaluation could lead to a wide range of improvements such as sidewalk and crosswalk upgrades, installation of pedestrian signals, pavement markings, removal of eyeline barriers and adding buffers between walkers and vehicles. Link said he anticipates the final report will identify short-term and long-term measures and will likely serve as a guide for projects in the future.
Deworken said he is hopeful the study will help make Greenville a safer, more walkable place to live.
« What I want is for moms and dads to stroll their children without worrying about being hit, » he said. « I want seniors to be able to go for a walk on streets and cross streets without worrying about being hit. »


Follow Conor Hughes on Twitter at @ConorJHughes.
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Conor Hughes is a reporter for the Post and Courier Greenville
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