CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – From students to long-time residents, the city of Clemson is bustling with traffic.
“Clemson is 7.5 square miles,” said Clemson City Councilmember Catherine Watts. “People use all forms of transportation across that.”
This month, the city of Clemson, Clemson University and the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study received a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a safety action plan for the streets of Clemson. It is one of six projects in South Carolina to receive grant funding.
“It’ll give us an opportunity to review the city and university as a whole, and look for opportunities to improve streets not just for cars but also pedestrians, cyclists and other road users,” explained Nathan Hinkle, the Clemson City Engineer.
Over the next year, experts will look at how existing roads are being used and develop ways to make them safer.
“We’re looking at enhanced crosswalks, opportunities for intersection improvements, trails, sidewalks [and] everything we can do to make sure the road user experience is as safe as possible in town and [at the] university,” said Hinkle.
“We know traffic is a problem,” added Watts. “We want to be able to plan out and see how we can mitigate existing problems and start planning to not create new ones.”
Once the plan is developed, the city said it can apply for grant funding to implement the safety improvements.
“We’re trying to promote alternate transportation – buses, cyclists and pedestrians – to alleviate traffic,” said Hinkle.
The city of Clemson and Clemson University have grown in recent years.
According to Clemson University, more than 27,000 students are currently enrolled.
“Our roads have not really kept pace with the traffic,” said Watts. “That is one of our primary concerns.”
“We’re definitely looking at future growth and where we can look at improving safety in a sustainable and manageable way,” added Hinkle.