Traffic among top concerns as Greenville works on comprehensive plan

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The City of Greenville is looking toward the future, asking for public input on the a comprehensive plan to guide local leaders over the next 20 years.

The community had an opportunity to learn more and speak with consultants on the “GVL2040” plan at an open house Wednesday.

In a public survey, traffic was among the top three issues residents reported being concerned about.

“The population’s increasing, and that means more cars,” said Michael Forsyth, who lives in Greenville.

Data shows more cars are on the road, but commute times haven’t changed much. The average trip to work in Greenville lasts 17.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, up less than a minute from the average commute time in 2000.

“I’m from New York originally, so I know what real traffic jams look like,” Forsyth said. “But there’s a little bit of that happening.”

Data from the South Carolina Department of Transportation shows daily traffic on many major corridors has increased since 2011. Areas in and around downtown, the Verdae Boulevard area, and the Haywood Road area have seen more than thirty percent increases. People are also increasingly driving to work alone. More than 80 percent of residents usually get to work that way, while 1.2 percent of people take public transportation to get to work.

“If it were more convenient to use a bus and less expensive we would, but right now it’s not,” said Sarah Fletcher, who lives in Greenville.

People told 7News that’s something they’d like to see change.

“Something need to be done, especially since many of the low-earning people are living in the hinterlands now away from where the established bus routes are,” Forsyth said.

“I think we’ve got to put in the money, put in the infrastructure in order to make that possible,” Fletcher said. “And with things like this, planning ahead, we may be able to do that.”

City planning manager Jonathan Graham said the city is in still in the process of formulating the plan to address the projected traffic increases in the coming decades.

The goal is to have the comprehensive completed by Winter of 2020.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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