GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — White Horse Road is one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians and bicyclists in Greenville County, according to Frank Mansbach, the executive director of Bike Walk Greenville.
“The intersection of SC-253 — which is West Blue Ridge Drive — and White Horse Road is the worst intersection for deaths,” Mansbach said. “It’s the most dangerous intersection for crashes as well.”
Despite this, some people living in the Berea neighborhood must walk or bike to their destinations.
“Eight and a half percent of the people who live in this community do not have access to a motor vehicle,” Mansbach said. “When you don’t have access to a motor vehicle, you’re pretty restricted on what you can do.”
This year, the non-profit organization, Bike Walk Greenville, set out to create a safer route for people to travel from Berea to downtown Greenville. They met with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and decided to create a bike route that starts in Berea, connects with the Swamp Rabbit Trail and leads people right into downtown Greenville. The route’s signs were installed this month.
“There are 13 of these way-finding signs,” Mansbach said. “It starts at White Horse Road. There are six in one direction and seven in the other. I’ve ridden it a few times. It’s about a 20 minute bike ride.”
The project cost $6,000 to complete, according to Mansbach. The nonprofit received donations from the community and funding from Greenville County for the project.
They hope this new route will create opportunities for people living in Berea.
“They can’t get enough people to work in downtown restaurants,” Mansbach explained. “Greenlink Transit stops at night. These are night jobs. With a good light on your bike — front and rear — you can ride the Swamp Rabbit Trail and these roads at night. So, if people are getting off work and they live in this community, they can commute to a downtown job by bike.”
Mansbach said the next step is to start a program to donate bikes to Berea residents.