Guest Post: Greenville County Transportation Spending

Today, we share a guest post from Frank Mansbach, Advocacy Chair for the Greenville Spinners bicycle club. Below, Frank shares some tremendous data on transportation spending in Greenville County, and how bicycle/pedestrian investment continues to be a tiny piece of this pie. Knowledge is power, and we thank Frank for this important information to allow us to make a stronger argument to local leaders in favor of continued local and federal funding.

While finishing a recent Saturday ride in Simpsonville a few weeks ago, I had a chance to talk to one of our County Council members while he was repairing his fence. I told him of my new role as Spinners advocacy chair and offered that we need to spend more money on bike/pedestrian projects in the County — not just in the City. He responded that, “most will say that is the Cities’ job — not the County’s.” I responded that our County is becoming increasingly urban, and that it is time for the Council to recognize the need for a better ped/bike infrastructure.

The next week I followed up with a friend on the Greenville County Planning Department staff that provided me with some rather interesting statistics:

Almost 75% of the urbanized area of Greenville County is outside city limits! This data is from the 2000 census, and I was told the 2010 census data will be available later this year, and it will obviously show more urbanized area in our County.

This month I was able to put together some facts on our actual transportation spending in Greenville County, and you may find this interesting:

  • The County has invested $8.5MM in acquiring the right of way and constructing the Swamp Rabbit Trail — including the Lake Conestee trails. (The City of Greenville has invested an additional $6.5MM to date, thus we have a total of $15MM spent.
  • Sidewalks expenditures by the County total $5.5MM from 2001-2011 and bike lane expenditures are less than $100K.
  • Road Projects funded by SCDOT and the County for 10 years cost $1.088 billion ($968.4MM SCDOT and $120MM County repaving program)

Thus the percentage to sidewalks and bike lanes is ½ of one percent, with an additional 0.77 percent of our spending for the Swamp Rabbit.

The below chart is County and State Spending only and does not include spending by the six cities in Greenville County.

An interesting statistic — we have 1700 miles of County maintained roads and the County had averaged 28 to 32 miles a year. Starting in 2012 funding is half the previous total so only 15 miles or so will be repaved each year under the current plan.

There are only 35 miles of sidewalks on those 1700 miles of roads!

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