One Spartanburg- Trails Plans

January 18th 2017

“The Spartanburg Strategy – A Vision for a Greater Spartanburg County” will be a holistic community and economic development strategy that focuses first on building a strong community. It will address the full range of factors that influences a community’s economic competitiveness – its talent, education and training systems, business climate, infrastructure, quality of life, and quality of place, just to name a few. The six-phase research and strategic planning process will last approximately nine months, concluding in October 2016. A diverse Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the public, private, and non-profit sectors will guide this process and ensure that it lays a foundation that allows people and businesses to thrive and wealth to accumulate.

In August 2016, they released details for Phase 5: Spartanburg County Community and Economic Development Strategy. The Strategy will serve as a tool unifying constituencies behind a consensus blueprint for its activities and associated strategies that position Spartanburg County for continued success in economic development. One of the four key drivers towards improving quality of life for Spartanburg County residents is the importance of quality of place, which plays a significant role in community and economic development, particularly when it comes to talent attraction and retention. Included in a section of place is the need to accelerate the implementation of the Trails and Greenways Master Plan to support bicycle and pedestrian connectivity throughout Spartanburg County.

As stated in the strategy:

"In the online survey, more than two thirds of respondents rated the “ability to access shops, restaurants, and services without using a car” in Spartanburg County as below average or very poor. Many stakeholders said they would like to see improvements in bicycle and pedestrian facilities – for both transportation and recreational purposes. This is consistent with national trends, where the ability to access amenities and recreation opportunities without using a car is increasingly valued – particularly among top talent in technology and “creative” fields. The Spartanburg community is fortunate to have an existing Greenways and Trails Master Plan advanced by Partners for Active Living (PAL) and a broad coalition of partners. The community should pursue an aggressive timeline for implementation of the plan, primarily through the commitment of additional public resources.

Potential Actions:

  • Continue to seek philanthropic and private-sector resources for plan implementation and staffing of the Trails Coordinator position
  • Develop new public resources to fund accelerated implementation of the plan, including state and federal grants and the application of local infrastructure funding toward proposed facilities
  • Work with relevant partners to develop an awareness campaign to communicate the low cost of implementation (slightly more than $1M/mile for a new multi-use trail – less than the cost to mill and resurface a mile of four-lane road) relative to positive health and talent attraction ROI
  • Work with relevant public and private partners to seek upgrades to neighborhood sidewalks and on-street improvements (such as shared-lane markings) to further enhance connectivity around trails network"

We look forward to seeing what changes come next and how Spartanburg continues to grow in the coming months and years! You can read the entire strategy here

To read more about One Spartanburg and their overall plans, click here

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