Monday, February 21, 2011

Table Rock State Park + Bike Lanes

This weekend I took a drive up to Table Rock State Park in northern Picken's County. Never having been, as I moved to the South in August of 2010, I enjoyed the park and the drive to visit a great natural resource. I'm a fan of the State Park system, and my husband and I look forward to many more trips to South Carolina State Parks.

During our visit, I noticed bike lanes and a group of cyclists out enjoying the usually good Februray weather on Highway 11 near the park. I was pleasantly surprised to see the designated bike lanes on the roadway. The State Park is largely an area dedicated to hiking the in the foothills, and does not have a lot of bicycle trails. I took the bicycle lanes located near the park as a welcoming gesture to the cyclists of the Upstate.

However, the transportation infrastructure - the major and minor roads - leading up to the State Park does not support cyclists. There are no bike lanes, the shoulders on the roadway are either too small or nonexistant and there aren't any "share the road" or other signs to alert drivers to the presences of cyclists. Furthemore, Highway 11 is a heavily trafficked road, and I would not consider it a safe rural route for any cyclist. The lack of bicycle infracture isn't surprising, as Table Rock State Park is in a rural area. Many rural areas lack facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. But, I can't help but wonder... How safe cyclists feel using the bike lanes? Where do the bike lanes/route near Table Rock lead? What are the future plans for this area, and do they include provisions for improving the facilities for cyclists?

For future planning, I would be excited to see an extended route from the City of Pickens or the Swamp Rabbit Trail to Table Rock State Park.

If you know future plans for any improvements to the bicycle infrastructure or new trails, I invite you to post below! Thanks.

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