GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – New improvements have been made at the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail intersection where it crosses at West Blue Ridge Drive (SC-253).
It’s a busy road and SCDOT said it is trying to make it safer for those using the trail.
A few days ago, the South Carolina Department of Transportation added radars to the traffic lights to sense trail users and give them a green light without even having to touch the button.
Mike Parks, who has been cycling for at least 15 years, said he was hit by a young teenager driving a car in 2019. He said he spent two months in the hospital and almost died. He continues to ride now but preaches to others that you can’t be too careful.
“I think it was a great move,” Parks said. “It may really drop down the hazard of trying to get across these four lanes.”
Multiple trail visitors said on Tuesday the new sensors make them feel more comfortable crossing the road.
“Yeah! It can be helpful sometimes so that you don’t have to come to a complete stop and restart because sometimes that can probably be even more dangerous to try and get across quickly and stuff like that as opposed to it being green and you can keep your momentum and keep going,” Will Cox said.
However, others said they actually like touching the button and feeling a sense of control. They said they feel the sensors could be a waste of money.
“Relying on the technology of the sensor might be a little bit scary,” Dena Metzler said. “I like touching the button and knowing that it beeps. It knows I’m here. I kind of pause. Coming up, I am still going to hesitate. I am still going to slow down just because traffic is so erratic around here.”
While the new sensors have had some controversy, everyone on the trail agreed that no matter how you’re using the trail it’s important to look both ways before crossing.
“We have a lot of tourists,” Bob Curtis said. “If you ride a lot, you know this is sort of a road you have to be careful. The tourists, I don’t think, are always aware of that and the cars sometimes are pretty fast.”