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Urban planning expert: ‘Cities are for people, not vehicles’

Published: Mar. 13, 2012 at 11:28 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - "Cities are for people, not vehicles," says an urban planning expert who helped put together a new report aimed at finding ways to connect the communities of the capital city.

The cover of the report from the Urban Planning Institute shows that the problem is multiple districts or communities, some of them adjacent to each other are not linked together.

Veteran urban planner John Knott says one reason for that is, Columbia's heavy emphasis on vehicular traffic and overabundance of parking for those cars and trucks.

Urban Planner John Knotts was astounded at the amount of parking and sidewalks available in downtown Columbia.

Knott says Columbia could start connecting key areas at the corner of Assembly and Gervais.

What he calls an "iconic" spot for the entire state.

"There's a power here," said Knotts. "South Carolina."

The report suggests needs for more pedestrian and bicycle access and fewer traffic lanes on Assembly.

Or even a bit of a throwback to the city's own past, when part of Assembly was home to a farmer's market.

Fred Delk of the Columbia Development Corporation says the major corner to connect is Gervais and Assembly.

The report calls on city leaders to re-think their approach to uniting communities, but it will be up to them to find ways to pay for any of those changes.

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