Starting in 2011, the Communities for Cycling initiative was developed in SC. Planning and engineering departments of cities and towns in SC are our partners in regional and statewide bicycle transportation progress. PCC developed a venue for peer-to-peer collaboration among these various departments, across our state, in an effort to establish a forum for the exchange of bicycle transportation innovation, insights, and recommendations.
These stakeholders from SC cities and towns collaboratively identified common issues, and they then better developed and implemented bicycle transportation design specifications that werea good fit for our SC. In fostering a cooperative approach to bicycle issues, and by working together, stakeholders shared information and best practices, saving time and money. The Stakeholders convened in a forum setting known as the South Carolina Communities for Cycling to share these best practices and policies.
Like its national namesake, NACTO‘s Cities for Cycling, Communities for Cycling was an evolving, unified forum of South Carolina city and town stakeholders working towards local and statewide bicycle improvements.
Representatives from the Cities of Charleston and Greenville took a leadership role in the forum as Chair and Vice Chair (respectively). The PCC oversaw the activities of the forum as Recording Secretary, and ensured its long-term vitality and relevance to South Carolina public policy. Accomplishments in sharing best practices were:
- the first ever statewide recommendation to the SCDOT’s Highway Design Manual,
- multiple webinars (SC bike/ped funding; SC model designs and implementation),
- workshops (Road Diet design and implementation from GA, the NACTO bikeway design guide, Complete Streets Context Sensitive Solutions), and
- multiple teleconference discussions.
Accomplishments in providing leadership to working directly with SCDOT:
- In 2014 the leadership team met twice with SCDOT, including an August meeting with new Secretary of Transportation Janet Oakley providing the opportunity for local priorities to be heard. Some improvements were made to state/local coordination, and those positive efforts continue today.
Other statewide policy impact analyses are evolving. Most encouraging, however, were the local insights and model designs smaller municipalities learned from the larger ones in our quarterly meetings.
Bylaws for the forum outlined the group’s mission, vision, purpose, membership, and meeting details. Many South Carolina towns, cities, counties, or other municipal entities were welcome to join the forum with a suggested membership due of $50. In 2015, the forum took a strategic pause, and a new direction is currently evolving. Stay tuned for news on that new direction, very soon.