We can all agree that accessible trail systems are the rage these days with efforts in Spartanburg, Pickens-Easley, and Greenville gaining wide public support in fostering healthy active lifestyles, connecting communities, and in providing an economic boost to neighborhoods and towns along the way.
These investments in alternative transportation infrastructure provide access to recreation in undeserved areas of the region as well and are truly an asset. Still I wonder whether we are looking at trails in too narrow of a context when I see majority of people driving miles to a trail head to ” hop on” for enjoyment versus hopping on a trail to actually get somewhere like a neighbor’s home, to a school, a shopping district, or place of work?
Do trails actually get us to the places we go every day and do they provide realistic transportation options? Will I ever be able to get safely by foot or two wheels to my office off of Woodruff Road from my home in Taylors in anything other than a car? Should we not consider asking those involved in development and re-development, public and private, to consider trails and connectivity as part of their plan in growing and connecting the trails to other trails and in concert with traditional road infrastructure?
With more open space and land in our rural communities perhaps they are better positioned to build this into their long term community plan. I think we are all making progress, and I certainly applaud those engaged in this long term thinking about our region. For whatever reason keep on hopping!