(WSPA) – Bike Walk Greenville has been analyzing data about Swamp Rabbit Trail users in Greenville.
The organization began in 2013 with a mission to advocate for safe, connected infrastructure for everyone.
The data has shown that a high percentage of trail users are commuting to work by a bike. The team of volunteers is now, more than ever, advocating for more funding.
“Riding a bicycle along most of our roads can be deadly,” said Frank Mansbach, Executive Director of Bike Walk Greenville. “People die, people get injured. I, myself, was hit by a car twelve years ago that led me to become an advocate. People don’t want to ride near distracted drivers. riding on the swamp rabbit trail is about as safe as it can get.”
With the recent analysis on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, Bike Walk Greenville believes their data to be remarkable, with 8.7% of bike trips for commuting to work. whereas state wide, that percent is less than one.
“We don’t invest enough,” Mansbach said. “We spend huge amounts of money to widen interstates to increase more traffic. We are doing a Woodruff Road bypass for millions of dollars but we can’t find money to build enough bike lanes and bike trails.”
In the first year of recording data approximately 700,000 bicycle and pedestrian trips have been recorded so far on the trail.
Researchers predicting that number will soon exceed one million as linking the trail to Mauldin, Simpsonville, and beyond is a project in sight, calling it a bicycle and pedestrian super highway.
“I think you are going to see trail systems like this are going to drive where developers invest their money because this is what people move here for,” Vice Chair of Bike Walk Greenville, Dr. John Mcburney said. “This is what people want. They don’t want to be stuck on I-385 in their car.”
The team of volunteers are planning to go to elected officials statewide hoping they will agree with their data that more funding is needed to continue to provide safe infrastructure.