GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – New trails are being proposed in Greenville to increase connectivity.

A public meeting was held on Wednesday night, for people to give input about one of the projects: the Zoo Trail.

“We have two distinct trails. The first one is called, the Zoo Trail. It backs up to the zoo property. It follows an abandoned railway line, similar to what the rest of the Swamp Rabbit Trail was built on,” said Calin Owens, Mobility Coordinator for the City of Greenville.

“Then the other one is a hike, bike trail that’s within the Nicholtown community – an extension of an existing mountain bike and natural surface trail called, Sliding Rock and that’s going to be built on a hillside that the city already owns,” Owens said.

The Zoo Trail could eventually connect Main Street to the Greenville Zoo.

“The Zoo Trail itself would run from David Francis to East Washington–that would be this segment,” Owens said. “Eventually, that would be expanded on and figured out how we would connect to Main Street. That would be part of probably the next phase, that would happen in the next fiscal year or the year after.”

“And tying into that piece, is a Connector Pathway, that would be envisioned to be a natural surface trail similar to what’s already existing there on the same hillside, called the Troop 19 Trails,” Owens said. “So it would tie into that trail network and it would provide connectivity from the Zoo Trail down into, and tying into directly Cleveland Park.”

Some people are for it, but many in the room had several concerns.

“I love this. I think this is awesome. My input would be full steam ahead. Get it done as fast as possible,” said Steve, a man in the meeting.

“We are concerned as a neighborhood. We periodically hear gunshots out of Cleveland Park and we don’t know where the people are, who the people are, we don’t know where they run to,” another man said.

According to the city’s website, the trail would be similar to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and would likely be branded as the Zoo Trail Spur, with “zoo-related art and iconography.” The website also states a long-term goal is to create a pedestrian entrance to the zoo from the trail.

One man who lives nearby said he’s concerned about security and other things.

“What is the purpose. Are we going to put lights there 24 hours a day. Is that what we’re going to do for security,” the man said.

“I find that this is a challenge for me to comprehend this because we have existing pathways,” he said. “This is trying to create something that is unnecessary.”

Another woman who bikes frequently, spoke out and felt differently.

“I ride at night. I ride by myself and I’ve never had a single problem, and I think I would hear about the problems,” the woman said.

During the meeting Owens said the design hasn’t happened yet for the project. He also said city council has not yet signed off.

“So the next step is continuing to have conversations with adjacent neighbors with the community at large. Accepting feedback via email, via phone calls, in person meetings, and then eventually that will get conveyed to council, so that they can digest and think about if it’s a project they want to move forward,” Owens said.

One woman said, overall, trails are needed.

“The more connectivity that we have, the less people will have to depend on parking,” she said.

Owens said the trail’s purpose is to provide neighborhood connectivity, connectivity to tourism destinations, and more.

Owens said phase one of the Zoo Trail would cost $200,000. He said the project funding would come from the Trails and Greenways budget.

Click here to learn more about the project.