Eat Smart Move More of Kershaw County is moving towards implementing the first stages of its Bicycle Pedestrian Greenway Plan. The plan includes projects for all of Kershaw county, including Elgin.
“The two things that Eat Smart Move More focuses on are nutrition and physical activities. We have identified a lack of facilities needed for physical activity … a lot of (other) communities have these facilities,” Camden City Planner Shawn Putnam, who is involved in the effort, said.
The Bicycle Pedestrian Greenway Plan provides suggestions for how to make communities in Kershaw County more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists by looking at transportation systems in the county.
The plan is based off of consultation by Alta Planning and Design, a firm that assists in designing communities that promote physical activity. According to Alta’s website, they are “committed to transforming communities with one trip, one step, one street, park, trail and intersection at a time.”
The plan for the county was presented to Kershaw County Council on August 13 and will be discussed again at Tuesday’s meeting.
“The span of this plan is looking at 20 to 30 years -- especially because a lot of the projects include widening roads and working with the DOT (S.C. Department of Transportation). But we can start some things now,” Putnam said.
Safe routes to schools and parks, greenway trails and bicycle paths have all been identified as high priority projects for Elgin and Lugoff.
Specific plans for Elgin include a safe shoulder on Bowen Street, connecting the sidewalk on Main Street and improving the sidewalk currently on Smyrna Road to accommodate bikers and walkers.
“We decided that this would benefit this county,” Putnam said.
KershawHealth Community Health Educator Whitney Hinson noted that there are multiple places in the county where roads do not have safe paths for pedestrians to walk.
“At some places, the roads have no paved shoulder at all … and walking and biking really does improve the quality of life,” Hinson said, adding that she hopes the new paths will promote more physical activity.
Putnam believes that the plan will also eventually assist in the economic development of the county.
“We have to look at it from an economic development perspective as well. These types of projects bring money into the community and help to improve the quality of life,” said Putnam.
The Kershaw County Bicycle Pedestrian Greenway Plan for the city of Camden will be presented at Tuesday afternoon’s Camden City Council work session as well.