Don’t forget the basics of what this is all about. We’re situated along the long axis of a narrow straight, and when I say long I mean 8.5 miles of straightaway, vertical gain/loss negligible, heat bearing down in summer, black asphalt paved, precarious street crossings, that car was never going to stop–close shave–place where people walk, jog, bike, roller blade, and exercise by day and yet sometimes it’s hard to find …shade.
And no, this doesn’t detract from any of the intrinsic beauty of the Greenway (and the connecting Bikeway). It’s a great asset for the folks in West Ashley, and it’s a great way to enjoy being in motion outside, and it has a way of rewarding people with some beautiful views by the end of it.
But we’ve identified some important aspects of the Greenway, and we’ve identified key user groups. So with that in mind, it’s important to keep those insights fresh now that we finally have a couple of sites.. um… in sight.
Because of the ways in which long term plans for the Greenway will be developing in the future, we honed in on a few areas that will be less likely to change. For the time being, we are focusing on the intersections of the Greenway and Farmfield Drive next to the Tennis Center, and the intersection of the Greenway and Coburg Drive. And it’s more than just shade. One of the particular issues we’d like to address with smaller scale designed interventions is the safety of these intersections. The potential risks are two-fold. First, there’s risk of car + pedestrian and/or car + cyclists collisions, but second, and actually more common mishap occurs between cyclists and the very device that is meant to keep them safe. The bollards in place currently were an old addition to the Greenway designed to make cyclists dismount their bicycles and walk their bikes across the street. Now that bike traffic has increased heavily along the path, these old solutions might actually be doing more harm than good.
These areas have a lot of potential for the introduction of a project that helps slow bicyclists in a safer manner, mediate potential conflict in the intersection, provide shade and seating areas, and possibly some other programmatic usage, and will be the basis for initial schematic investigations. Initial sketches and design investigations to come.