It was the vote Christian Lentz and Ross Douglas were hoping for.
On April 16, city council voted unanimously to adopt the 2011 North Augusta Greeneway, Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan as a supplement to the 2005 North Augusta Comprehensive Plan.
The plan recommends 20 “priority projects” that, if implemented, will expand the city’s current pedestrian and bicycle systems.
“North Augusta has the potential to transform itself into a community where walking and bicycling for transportation and recreation are even more popular activities than they are currently,” the plan document states.
Lentz and Douglas are North Augusta residents and board members for Wheel Movement – CSRA, an organization that aims to support and promote the local cycling community. They attended the city council meeting in support of the plan and were pleased with the outcome.
“We think that the facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians are important and can turn into a transportation alternative,” said Lentz. “We just want city council to know that there are a number of citizens in the city that believe that it’s important for our transportation system to support a lot of different modes of travel.”
Some of the plan’s recommended projects include extending the Greeneway through Woodstone, Bergen West and Wando Woodlands; adding trailheads and parking along Palmetto Parkway; adding side trails along Five Notch Road; and adding bike lanes to several roadways including Martintown Road, West and Carolina avenues.
The plan was approved in late May 2011 by the North Augusta Planning Commission and recommended to the city last summer. A resolution to adopt the plan was tabled during a council meeting last summer for further study and review.
During the city council meeting, Douglas shared with council members that he and his son often use the Greeneway to ride their bicycles to his son’s baseball games. The plan is a step in the right direction to make the city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, he said after the meeting.
“Years ago, you used to ride your bike everywhere,” he said. “As traffic has increased, you have seen that dwindle. Now having this plan, and being able to implement it, I think that we’ll get back to that.”
The plan acts only as a guide for the city and the city council when it comes to actually choosing projects for implementation over the next 25 or more years.
It also provides suggestions on how to rank and prioritize the projects to determine which projects are most important to North Augusta residents and to help guide funding allocations for the projects.
If the plan is fully implemented, the overall Greeneway and bikeway system will include a little more than 96 miles of Greeneway, side paths, trails, and bike lanes and routes.
“We look at it as the city exhibiting vision, having aspiration,” said Lentz of the plan. “Even if they implement just a portion of the overall plan, that is a level of success.”