Greenway “Improvements”

Hello Greenway friends,

First of all, I hope that everybody has weathered Irma well. I ran the Greenway after the storm and only saw one spot where a tree was blocking the trail. I could get past it but likely bikes could not. Hopefully the City is able to clear that quickly.

Over the past couple weeks much of the western portion of the Greenway has been paved with blacktop (the section between Stinson Dr. and Parkdale Dr. is still dirt/gravel). I’ve been out on it a few times and it looks good even though I am mixed on whether or not the paving is a good thing.

From a personal use perspective, I liked the gravel/dirt. I am a runner and the gravel/dirt is a bit more forgiving on my knees. Also, I fear that the heat radiating off the blacktop in mid-summer is going to be punishing. The section passing through the Clemson Extension Farm as there is no shade there will be particularly intense. On the other had, if the smoother, more consistent surface helps others more feel comfortable using the Greenway, and if it facilitates more bike-commuting, then I will view it as a positive change overall.

On some of my recent Greenway excursions I have asked other users what they think of the change. Opinions ranged from full support (“I love it!”, “As an old lady, I feel more comfortable [on the blacktop]”, “Mostly I bike on the Greenway, so this is a good thing”, “Now I’ll be able to take my roadbike [from Byrnes Down] to John’s Island without being killed” referring to riding along 17) to disappointment (“I don’t like it”, “It is less of a GREENway now”, “I liked the rustic feel”). One gentleman said that he lived along the Greenway before and after the eastern portion was paved and he noticed that a lot more people, particularly kids, began using the Greenway. I hope that this increase in use happens again.

In other Greenway related news, Charleston County Council voted down the proposed bike lane crossing the Ashley River. Like the paving of the Greenway (and most public works projects) this one had strong opinions on both sides. The vote seemed to swing on a traffic study conducted by the County that estimated travel times to the peninsula from Folly Rd. would increase by a minute at morning rush hour (this would increase to two minutes by 2028). It looks like the only way that cyclists and pedestrians are going to get a dedicated route across the Ashley in the relatively near future will be on the James Island Connector.

Looking forward, there are other projects that are coming to the Greenway and Bikeway. I’ll write about those a bit next time.

Until then, enjoy the coming cool weather and I will see you on the trail!

Cheers,
CA

Greetings and happy Independence Day!

This is my first post on WestAshleyGreenway.org so I thought I would start by sharing why I value the West Ashley Greenway (and Bikeway). I moved to West Ashley about 18 months ago and have been enjoying the Greenway regularly since then. For me, getting out on the Greenway is a wonderful way to unwind after work. It is where I go for exercise and refuge from screentime. On the eastern end of the Greenway, I enjoy sharing a smile with my neighbors and familiar strangers as we pass. If I’m up for a longer journey, the western end of the Greenway rewards the extra effort with lovely views of the marsh. I mark the seasons by the changing flora in the backyards along the Greenway, the birds that provide the Greenway’s soundtrack, and the crops in the Coastal Research and Education Center Farm, as well as the flock of Great Egrets that roost there in the Spring. Higgins Pier at the northeast end of the Bikeway, with views across the Ashley River toward the peninsula, is one of my favorite spots.

There are also changes on the horizon. As part of the West Ashley revitalization efforts, the City has proposed playgrounds, more water fountains, and art installations. There is a major drainage project that has closed part the Bikeway for the past few months but will hopefully result in improvements to a section of the Bikeway that had fallen into disrepair. There is also the proposal to connect the Greenway to a bikelane across the Ashley River, providing safe bike and pedestrian-friendly way to cross the Ashley River.

I know that the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway is not everything to everybody, but to me it is a gem and I hope you enjoy it too. See you out there!

-CA

August 2014

Just updated on the home page with directions to the southern terminus. Head South on 17 and turn left on Main Road. The entrance to the trail is 2 1/2 miles ahead on the right, just before the bridge. Turn right, then continue right onto McLeod Mill Road. The trailhead is on the left-hand side with parking. Enjoy!

May 2013

The Father John J. McCarthy Knights of Columbus Council #12472 (in association with Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church) will host the Third Annual Walk for HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) on Saturday, May 18, 2013, from 9 AM until Noon on THE WEST ASHLEY GREENWAY, THE SECTION BETWEEN COBURG ROAD AND FOLLY ROAD (BOULEVARD). Registration/Admission is only $10 with proceeds benefiting the Carolina Children’s Charity. AND EVERYONE IS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE AND/OR VOLUNTEER.

March 2011

Greenway closure – we have received news that the stretch of the Greenway from Canterbury to Markfield will be closed beginning April 1st (no, this is not a joke!) through August, per Charleston Water System – yikes!

A great article in the West Of paper about the City of Charleston fixing the missing bridge to re-connect the two pieces of the Greenway. Click here.

April 2010

The West Ashley Greenway Master Plan is discussed in this week’s WEST OF and can be viewed here. The article notes that the City of Charleston is scheduled to present the plan to the public on APRIL 15th but the time had not been finalized. Stay tuned. This great linear park is part of the national 2,500 mile East Coast Greenway which extends from Maine to Florida so please come to this meeting and be green!
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Charleston 5 K Donut Run – SATURDAY, April 24, 8:00-9:30 am
Bring the family, leashed dogs and enjoy this short fun run for the sidewalk chalk children’s benefit.

Start: Three Birds Restaurant in South Windermere
Course: West Ashley Greenway
Turn Around: Krispy Kreme Donut Shop
Sign Up: www.CharlestonDonutRun.com.
Children under 12 free, adults, 18 if sign up in advance by April 19, this Monday. Walk ups are welcome

Side Walk Chalk is a 501c3 that works with 7 Title One schools to teach expression, build confidence, and change the lives of those less fortunate. Click thru to our web site at www.SideWalkChalk.org to view heart breaking stories from our students

To volunteer: Contact Charles@FoxMusicHouse.com or call 843.303.3334

Thank you very much for your support!

After run party will be held at the Triangle Restaurant at the corner of Magnolia and Hwy 17 with speical drink and food discounts to Off the Sidewalk – Chas Donut Run participants and families.

June 2009

at 11:00 am on a wed. at the greenway crossing on farmfield d, musc safe kids was awarded a $10,000 check from federal express to put in two flashing pedestrian lights for farmfield rd. mayor riley accepted the check for the city. one step at a time: this is yet another important safety project along the greenway.
click thumbnail for full image of the ceremony. Click for full image

the following are some more projects (some pending – some already complete):
* federal safe routes to school funding is being used to improve the greenway crossings over stinson, arlington, and wappoo roads; the original project only included wappoo road but other crossings are now going to be included in the project!
* at the request of a neighborhood, charleston county is constructing sidewalks on campbell and timmerman drives to the greenway with new crossing treatments.
* the city of charleston also just put in a new crossing over coburg drive after a citizen request.
* and a sidewalk was added from savannah highway to the greenway along coburg drive – next to the new harris teeter!