RE: Gills Creek Greenway Section A Public Comments
I am a resident of the City of Columbia and Richland County and am excited about the Gills Creek Greenway. I believe, as many of my neighbors do, that this Gills Creek Greenway A will be a tremendous asset to our neighborhood, local community, and Richland County as a whole. I am aware of the very vocal opposition to this project but let me be clear; I ONLY voted for the Penny Sales Tax for these BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN AND GREENWAY PROJECTS. You must not allow a few negative, conservative, and extremely loud naysayers to spoil an excellent opportunity that the voters of Richland County have already approved. I will be extremely disappointed and angry if this Greenway project is not constructed.
My specific comments are as follows:
1. The Greenway should begin where it was originally intended to begin, at Kilbourne Road. Kilbourne Road is where the statewide Palmetto Trail passes through Columbia so this Greenway will connect to much larger trail network, so long as it connects to Kilbourne Road.
2. The trail should go down through the Cross Hill area on the Downing Street side of Gills Creek, as is indicated in the plan.
3. Along Crowson Road, the City and/or County should work on stream improvements and streetscaping in order to beautify the area and make for a more pleasant trail experience.
4. The trail MUST go under the Fort Jackson Blvd Bridge. At-grade crossings area a huge impediment to trail usage and should only be used WHEN ALL OTHER OPTIONS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED.
5. The trail should go UNDER Devine Street. This is the most challenging of the road crossings as the bridge abutments are so close to the water. Options for a floating boardwalk or cantilevered boardwalk should be explored to keep pedestrian traffic off of Devine Street - a very dangerous crossing. If no alternatives can be found to avoid the at-grade crossing of Devine St, then it should be put into SC DOTs plan to open the bridge abutments on that Devine St. bridge the next time SC DOT replaces/renovates it. Also, perhaps a tunnel option could be used to pass under Devine Street.
6. The area next to the Gamecock BiLo provides an opportunity for a nice park entrance/trailhead. This should be a focal point of the Greenway. A small trail parking area can be accommodated here.
7. The Greenway should tie into Midlands Technical College to provide students with a pedestrian route to the Cross Hill Commercial area.
8. The trail should STAY UNDER ROSEWOOD DRIVE BRIDGE, on the WEST side of the Creek floodplain. There is sufficient headroom under the Rosewood Bridge (over 10 feet) to allow the Greenway to pass under the bridge and keep trail users from having to cross Rosewood Drive.
9. Stairs/ramps should be built at Rosewood Drive, on both sides of the road, to allow trail users access to the sidewalks on Rosewood and vice versa. There are apartments and other neighborhoods that will likely enter the Greenway via Rosewood Drive’s sidewalks.
10. The Greenway should stay on the WEST side of Gills Creek and the Gills Creek floodplain. This would parallel South Beltline instead of going near Gills Creek Parkway and the Hamptons neighborhoods.
11. The trail should continue down in the Gills Creek floodplain along the S. Beltline side of the Creek for as long as possible. At the two railroad trestles, the trail should go under the railroads to stay near the Creek.
12. A portion of the Intertape Polymer Group parking lot should be secured as a trailhead and parking area for trail users.
13. The Gills Creek Greenway should continue all the way down Gills Creek to its confluence with the Congaree, as it was originally described in the Penny Referendum!