Safe path to Shepard Park

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Safe access to Shepard Park by people walking, biking and golf carting is a problem, but a town committee didn’t like a staff solution presented Wednesday.
Shepard Park is a small park off Simmons Avenue in downtown Summerville with limited parking.
The streets in the area are narrow and winding. Parkwood Drive, however, is used as a cut-through by many, Councilman Bill McIntosh said, and drivers coming off zippy Central Avenue are often surprised to find a person standing in the middle of the road.
“I’d like to get pedestrian traffic off Parkwood and onto a sidewalk,” he said.
Nevertheless, building a $106,000 sidewalk from Golf Road to Simmons Avenue, even if it costs only $40,000 if the town does the work in-house, doesn’t make sense, he said.
“To me this seems like an awfully small part of the problem for a whole lot of money,” McIntosh said.
He’d prefer a sidewalk for the entire length of Parkwood, all the way to Central Avenue.
The road is a state road, Town Engineer Russ Cornette said, and would have specific requirements for sidewalks that would be difficult to meet due to the narrowness of road and the grand trees alongside.
Harry Avant, manager of the street department, suggested the town could instead create bike lanes, which would merely require expanding the paving rather than adding curb and gutter for drainage.
A bike lane would be cheaper than a sidewalk, but the state usually requires bike lanes on both sides of the road or a two-way lane on one side, Cornette said.
He said he would investigate the options further for council.

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