Final comprehensive plan means better roads in Florence

Florence, SC - By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Improving transportation is one way the Florence City Urban Planning and Development Department plans to improve the quality of life in Florence.

The City of Florence Urban Planning and Development Department revealed Monday the final draft of a comprehensive plan intended to improve the quality of life for the city's residence over the next 20 years. Among the goals outlined, the plan seeks to improve transportation and mobility throughout the city.

"When you're talking about transportation to schools, transportation to healthcare, you certainly want those roads to be as uncongested, free of traffic congestion issues as you can," said Drew Griffin, director of Public works and Utilities. He described the plan as a system that allows the city and county to work together to improve such aspects of the community as mobility.

The primary goals outlined in the community mobility plan include widening roads to eliminate congestion, and improving access to highways. Pine Needles Road is one roadway in the process of being widened from a two to a four-lane roadway.

"I think it's a great idea," said Ronnie McBryde at the Pine Needles construction site. "I ride this area almost every day and it's very dangerous." Improving safety for motorists, as well as non-motorists was one of the primary goals of the transportation system plan.

Griffin said the proposal also seeks to improve connections between neighborhoods. "Once people get into those neighborhoods, they like to be able to have pedestrian, or pedestrian-friendly corridors to walk play and bike," he explained. Environmental- friendly transportation was also incorporated in the plan, calling for additional sidewalks and bike lanes in Florence.

Peggy Brown is a member of the Florence City-County Trails committee, which develops bike and jogging trails.  She said improvements to transportation should not be limited to motorists. "Without having the transportation modes for pedestrian and bicycle, I think that we're leaving a while sector of people without a transportation mode," Brown said.

The Urban Planning and Development Department has been developing the Florence comprehensive plan for about a year. The proposals outlined in the comprehensive plan incorporate the observations and suggestions submitted by community members.

The plan will be submitted to Florence city council for approval. Once approved, it will serve as a long-term guideline for all future improvements made to Florence.

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