Urban Land Institute listens to citizen concerns about bike, ped - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Urban Land Institute listens to citizen concerns about bike, pedestrian traffic

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Columbia city leaders are looking for ways to keep pedestrians safe. A group known to help improve urban areas listened to the community's concerns on the issue before they make their recommendations.

The eight member panel from the National Urban Land Use Institute listened as business leaders, city and community representatives, and regular citizens talked about their ideas to make the capital city a safer place for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

"I would not object to getting rid of a few parking meters especially on Assembly Street in the center lane," said one citizen. "If we did that, we could create a bike lane pretty fast."

"I would really like to see Columbia take abandoned railroad tracks and turn them into bike paths, walkways, and connect them to downtown," said another citizen.

Other ideas included creating well defined crosswalks, skywalks, and slowing traffic on Gervais Street.

Another suggestion floated was improved access and connectivity between downtown, Five Points, the Vista, and the Three Rivers. Panelists from the Urban Land Use Institute took notes.

"They were very passionate and very articulate about what they saw as problems and what they saw as opportunities," said institute chairman Alex Rose. 

Rose says his group will draft recommendations to submit to city leaders.

"We are hoping to give Columbia an action plan that they can begin to work from," said Rose.

The group's recommendations will be announced Thursday at the Columbia Convention Center at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

Columbia City Council will review the plan. If council endorses it, it will then be up to City Manager Teresa Wilson to find the resources and funding to move forward with the projects.

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