GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Greenville leaders are working to find ways to protect pedestrians on city streets. Results of a new safety study are giving them a good idea of where to start.
The city held an open house on Tuesday night.
“This is our Pedestrian Safety Study that we’ve been working on for about eight months now. This is our final public meeting for the project. We’ve had a series of public meetings over the last eight months, to get public input and to show the public what we’re studying and what we’re looking at,” said Clint Link, Director of Engineering Services, City of Greenville.
Tuesday was the final public meeting, where they presented final analysis.
“We started this back in the spring, where council kind of adopted a policy of really wanting to address pedestrian safety in the city, and they made that a priority for us to not only improve pedestrian safety, but just to look at mobility on our streets,” Link said.
“We walk or ride our bike a lot and we’ve noticed that there are a lot more people, especially now with a lot of the students in town and stuff, there’s a lot more foot traffic and everything,” said pedestrian Toni Lee Marrone.
From one corner to the next, people are everywhere in the City of Greenville.
“There’s certain streets that have like the flashing yellow lights, they’ll just blow right by you, and they don’t care. So, it’s a little dangerous at times,” said pedestrian Matthew Lamberson.
That’s why the city started the pedestrian safety study.
“Really started with looking at our highest volume traffic volume corridors, as well as some of our school zones. So, we started out with I believe 46 of our highest traffic volume roads in the city and then we looked at 18 school zone areas as well,” Link said.
Link said there were around 180 pedestrian accidents from 2016 to 2021.
“We looked at basically a six-year period from 2016 to 2021, was kind of our study period where we pulled crash history and that sort of thing, over that period,” Link said. “I think we had and we were looking at pedestrian accidents only, and did not involve vehicular crashes, just pedestrian crashes and over that time period, I think we had around 180 pedestrian accidents,” he said.
They found the majority of pedestrian accidents in the Greenville over the past six years, (2016-2021) have happened on the same 15 streets (53 percent on the streets pictured below).
Now, they’ll work to change that.
“We have narrowed down it to what we call kind of our 10 highest rated streets,” said Link.
According to Link, they began with 46 high-volume corridors and began looking at characteristics of those roadways, crash history, and other risk factors.
“Essentially, what we’ve done is identified the top 10 highest rated streets to move those onto further analysis, where we will now go look at those streets and actually specifically look at countermeasures or safety improvements that could be implemented on those streets to address the issues,” Link said.
Ten corridors selected for further study (based on score and public input) are:
- Buncombe Street
- Pleasantburg Drive
- Academy Street
- Laurens Road
- Augusta Street
- Pete Hollis Boulevard
- North Street
- Mills Avenue
- Pendleton Street
- Church Street
“Some of the measures are as pretty as simple as just improving the lighting along the street. It might be a street that’s just not well lit,” Link explained. “Other improvements could include, crosswalk enhancements, pedestrian signals, installing curb extensions and medians, to just to provide pedestrian refuge to others. There are some streets where we don’t have adequate sidewalks. We would look at sidewalk enhancements.”
“A variety of things that we’re looking at and that’s what we’re doing on the top 10 streets now, is we’re having a focus assessment of those, and seeing which of those countermeasures could be applied to have the best results,” Link said.
It’s all things some people said are needed this growing city.
“I think it will help out a lot. It’s really important to keep everybody safe. So, if we’re able to make those improvements, I think they should be made so everyone can walk and ride safely around here in Greenville,” said Marrone said.
Link said near the Greenville Drive’s stadium, Fluor Field, they’ve already started engineering on a pedestrian signal project that they hope to construct in the spring, adding that other projects could also start fairly quickly.