Twenty years ago, I was introduced to Greenville, SC when my sister was dating my now-brother-in-law who lived there. It was a moderately depressing town; a 2-block central business district surrounded by low-density semi-industrial sprawl. When I saw Greenville listed on the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community list, I was more than perplexed. This weekend, I returned to Greenville to find a completely different city.
I packed my Citizen Gotham to evaluate the city from a two-wheeled perspective. My son, brother-in-law & nephews were eager to ride the Swamp Rabbit Trail and other bike lanes downtown. We started off at the bus terminal and took the bike lanes down to the Swamp Rabbit Trail that runs along the Reedy River. (The label “river” is a stretch, its more like a quiet stream) We followed the trail northwest and found a heavily shaded, well-paved trail with a 4′ cushion for runners. Heading back downtown, we passed a children’s garden, signs to bike shops off the trail, and a well designed mixed use path passing waterfalls, both natural and manmade.
Falls of the Reedy Park was an old mill area from the town’s founding. Now it is a highly diversified area featuring high end restaurants, art galleries and hotels revitalizing old structures with new construciton. The Liberty Bridge spans the Reedy offering an excellent view of the falls. In addition to the excellent trail & pedestrian oriented development, there was evidence of several road diets downtown as well as
(we could use a few of these in B’more)
The Main St Trolley (Circulator) runs through the West End & Main St corridors, adding to a great “park once and go” experience in Greenville. Even the neighboring town of Easley, SC has a small network of bike lanes connecting downtown to the immediate residential area. Many things can change in 20 years and I’m glad to see Greenville has evolved! I’ll be back…