Midlands Success Story--2017

On May 3-4, 2017, tmayors-challenge.jpghe South Carolina Safe Routes to School Resource Center co-hosted the first South Carolina Mayor’s Bike & Walk Summit in Columbia. Collaborating with the South Carolina American Diabetes Association, Palmetto Cycling Coalition, Palmetto Conservation, and the City of Columbia, the two-day Mayor’s Bike & Walk Summit had more than 100 attendees on each day that networked and learned from experts from across the country and state on how to make South Carolina a more walkable and bike-friendly place.

The Mayor’s Roundtable kicked off the first day of the Summit. Mayors and representatives from Greenville, Anderson, Rock Hill, Columbia, Travelers Rest, and Charleston gathered to discuss how their communities are encouraging a walkable and bike friendly atmosphere for all. Mary Roe from Palmetto Conservation led the discussion with a series of questions, and attendees were allowed to ask direct questions to the panel. City Connect, a local media outlet, followed the Mayor’s Roundtable and provided a write up here: http://muniassnsc.blogspot.com/2017/05/walk-bike-drive.html.

Two keynote speakers delivered thought-provoking presentations on both days at the Summit. Vince Graham, the president of Loci South, founded the traditional walking neighborhood of Newport in Beaufort, South Carolina. Charles Brown, MPA from the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, delivered a keynote on creating a bicycle friendly South Carolina with equity in mind. Mr. Brown’s presentation can be found here.

Darren Flusche and Ernie Boughman from Toole Design Group and the Resource Center support team led all-day workshops on Funding Multimodal Transportation and Implementation of Master Plans in South Carolina. The workshop presentations can be found here.

On both days, attendees attended various breakout sessions. The SC SRTS Resource Center team led one session, Safe Routes to School Safety Scavenger Hunt. Attendees of this session had the opportunity to get moving and assess the walkability of Downtown Columbia near the Statehouse. Using the tools which help the Resource Center, DHEC, SCDOT, and schools determine what changes can be made for safer walking and biking to school, the session participants took to the streets of Columbia looking for examples of best and worst practices. Participants agreed that it was an eye opening experience since some walk the streets on a daily basis.

The first SC Mayor’s Bike and Walk Summit brought together SCDOT officials, County and City Officials, bike/walk enthusiasts, planners and engineers to convene and learn from one another with the common goal to make South Carolina a friendlier state for walkers and bicyclists for all.

To learn more about the Summit and the agenda, please visit the website at www.scmayorsbikewalksummit.org. Click here to view photos from the SC Mayor’s Bike and Walk Summit. Palmetto Cycling Coalition also provided a recap of the summit here: http://pccsc.net/2017-sc-mayors-summit-recap/