It’s great to hear from people who want to bike commute in their town, and even better when it’s local people who I can share personal experience with on specific routes and ideas. What’s not so great is when the answer is something like, “well I do it, but most people would never reach that level of crazy”.
This article from Bike Walk Greenville recounts an email exchange I was cc’d on last week from a newcomer to Greenville who is interested in a commute similar to what I traversed last year. On the one hand, there are some options to consider and we are lucky to have a reliable, albeit massively underfunded, bike friendly public transit option to supplement a bike commute. On the other hand, without protected bike lanes, low traffic bypasses or better yet a bike trail network, we are stuck with a community design that says to people “you’d better get in your car and stay there, if you want to live.”
Thankfully, the planned Swamp Rabbit Trail extension has huge potential to transform the Southeast concrete jungle of Greenville from a gridlocked mess into a highly desirable area to live as well as work and shop. We need this kind of connective infrastructure yesterday, and I can only hope that sooner than later, we will learn some valuable lessons to apply toward future development as Greenville continues to grow.