Community leaders in Greer, South Carolina, are trying to figure out if and how the town might create better transportation options for its residents and earlier this month, Smart Growth America went to Greer to help those leaders answer some of these questions.
Smart Growth America and our partner Strategic Economics led a workshop on Implementing Transit-Oriented Development. Transit-oriented development, or TOD, means building homes, offices or stores close to public transportation stations. This strategy supports the businesses along the public transportation line, and makes commuting more convenient for residents – even those who don’t ride public transportation. The one-day workshop laid out both the short and long-term benefits such a strategy would bring to Greer’s transportation and planning staff members as well as business and community leaders.
“Greer is extremely interested in smart growth solutions, as our fiscal and environmental well-being depends on having a thoughtful and reasonable pattern of growth across our region,” said Mayor Rick Danner in a statement. “In fact, we see smart growth solutions as the only responsible way to address our transportation needs. Our community faces a choice between an expensive expansion of the I-85 corridor or an enhanced transportation corridor along Highway 29.”
Traffic congestion is certainly a key part of why Greer is considering better public transportation options. According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, a survey of 7,000 area residents revealed transportation and traffic congestion as key concerns. Respondents said traffic had increased and is likely to worsen.
Greer invited Smart Growth America to provide expertise on transit-oriented development, but the city also wants help from its residents.
“We know that it’s a community process,” said Greer Assistant City Administrator Mike Sell. “We’ve got to engage the public, we’ve got to engage the stakeholders and every aspect of the community is involved.”
- Smart Growth America’s free Technical Assistance program
- Experts discuss mass transit along Highway 29 corridor [Spartanburg Herald-Journal (SC) – May 15, 2012]
- Highway 29 Targeted for Smart Growth