The future of land development, transportation choices and active living opportunities along the 33-mile stretch of Highway 29 between Greenville and Spartanburg will be the focus of a two-day workshop next month. The renowned Urban Land Institute (ULI) will lead “Linking Our Futures: Shaping a Transit-Ready Corridor” on January 14 and 15 in Greer. The public is invited to attend a drop-in input session on January 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Greer City Hall (Hall A, 301 East Poinsett St.) and encouraged to return to the same location on January 15 at 5:30 p.m. for a presentation of the ULI consultants’ preliminary recommendations.
ULI experts from North and South Carolina will tour the corridor and engage local stakeholders, including the general public, to assess opportunities for and identify barriers to expanded transportation and housing options along Highway 29. The ULI team will include experts from various sectors, including banking, real estate, commercial development, planning, and public transportation, brought to the Upstate by Upstate Forever, the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, John I. Smith Charities, and the Mary Black Foundation.
The study and resulting recommendations will complement transportation improvements already planned along Highway 29 by the SCDOT and local transportation agencies. Those projects, which include signal synchronization and construction of park and ride lots, are part of an ongoing effort to cost-effectively alleviate congestion on Interstate 85 by improving the functionality of Highway 29 as an alternative for local traffic and public transit. But with a strong complementary land use plan, those investments could have a much larger impact.
Significant economic development projects recently announced or completed in the vicinity make the corridor ripe for study and improvement. In western Spartanburg County alone, these projects include Bass Pro Shops destination retail store, Toray Industries’ new manufacturing plant, the expansion of BMW’s manufacturing plant and the South Carolina Inland Port, and Upward Sports’ headquarters and multi-sport complex. In order for a robust public transportation system to emerge in the future, long-range land use and infrastructure planning is critical.
This workshop is the first event in Upstate Forever’s 2015 Active Living Event Series, based in Spartanburg County and sponsored by the Mary Black Foundation. The Series is designed to encourage community dialogue about policies and infrastructure that promote active, healthy communities. For more information on the 2015 Active Living Event Series, contact Sherry Barrett at email@example.com or (864) 327-0090, or visit upstateforever.org/active-living-event-series/.