New signs have gone up in downtown Greenville along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, but many of them are covered by black bags. Others read "Mandatory Bicycle Dismount" or "Bicycle Bypass."
They're part of a new initiative by the City of Greenville to keep busy walkways downtown safer for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Three big projects have begun for the trail downtown. There is the "mandatory dismount" for cyclists who want to go speedy through Falls Park, plus a new route that they can take to avoid Falls Park congestion. There is also a new LED crosswalk at River Street.
The director of Greenville Parks and Recreation, Dana Souza, explained that these projects have been in the works for about two years. It's taken a little while to get approval from South Carolina Department of Transportation for the LED crosswalk, where lights are on the sign and in the road when the button is tapped. This is the first of its kind in the state to warn drivers when walkers or bikers need to cross.
Souza says the mandatory dismount is just a friendly reminder that there are other, better places to ride faster. He hopes cyclists will take note to ease congestion through Falls Park.
"We have this great problem in Greenville that people love our parks and they love the Swamp Rabbit Trail. So the parks are very busy, and the trail is very busy with pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists. There are a couple of points in our community where, when they all come together, there are opportunities for them to come together in an unsafe situation," Souza said.
He said the mandatory dismount area is not meant to be enforced by police. Souza said people will not be fined if they're on their bikes in Falls Park, but the city hopes that those who want to ride fast will be considerate and take the bicyclist bypass.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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