Friday, February 3, 2012


There are some great places to bike in the Upstate of South Carolina. There are places for mountain bike riders, like the Clemson Experimental Forest. There are places for recreational riders, like the Swamp Rabbit trail or, depending on your level of experience and comfort, on scenic Hwy 11. There are places for commuter or utilitarian riders, as there are bikeways in communities throughout the region. Wouldn't it be great, though, if they were all connected?

Map of area near Furman University
Providing connections between places is an important part of making biking a more feasible option for getting around and just having fun. If you are a student at a university (like Furman or Clemson) and you live off campus, biking makes a lot of sense - until you actually try. Try getting around Hwy 276 near Furman or Hwy 93 near Clemson on bike! (Or not. It can be really dangerous.) Living within just a couple of miles makes it easy to bike, based on distance, but based on safety, it may be out of the question. If you live near the Clemson Experimental Forest, you may want to bike up to the trails, but roadways like Hwy 133 are designed for fast speeds and traffic may prohibit you from safely doing so. Neighborhoods and businesses are at least seeing the benefits of being located on or near the Swamp Rabbit trail, and are working to increase accessibility to it, making it easier to ride from door to "door." (That being the door of a home or business to the "door" of the trail.)

Wayfinding : sign and
pavement marking
Connections can also be strengthened by the prevalence of signs, especially wayfinding signs. These signs can tell a rider where the bike route is, the location of some key destinations, distance and legitimize the right to the road. As long as they are done well, they can help reinforce bikeway connections.

Having bikeways is awesome. Having bikeways that connect places together are even better. Having many bikeways that connect many places is....well...a network. And a network will create great accessibility for all users - recreational and utilitarian.

No comments:

Post a Comment