The SCDOT's transportation plan is a long-range, long-looking project that will produce ideas, goals and networks for all kinds of transportation across the state through 2040, including bicycles. A lot can happen in the next 30 years, but the idea of this kind of plan is to help drive and plan for big picture types of projects, ideas and budgets. The DOT is in charge of a huge network of transportation connections, and long range plans influence the development over time.
This is the first multimodal plan. That means it's no longer just about cars, trucks and SUVs. There is an extensive effort to inventory the existing bikeways in the state as a part of the project. (Knowing what's out there is a critical step in understanding what the state's biggest bicycle-related needs are.) The Transit Planning Resource Committee is specifically assigned to address the state needs related to public transit, pedestrian and bicycle programming and networks. The overall plan will include five other plans that specifically address interstate highways, strategic corridors, rail, freight and public transit. Three stakeholder committees are engaging in the plan's development, including the previously mentioned planning and resource committee.
Stay tuned. Stay connected. Stay involved. Contact some of the stakeholders. Attend public meetings. Seek out opportunities to talk to representatives involved with this plan to let them know why planning for a nationally-known bicycle network is important. South Carolina is currently at the top of the list for being one of the most dangerous places for cyclists. I'd say it's about time we drop off of that list and top another. I'm thankful that we are taking a huge step in that direction.
To learn more about the plan, including plan news, faq's and project documentations and timelines, visit the SCDOT website. Happy Thanksgiving!