By:Lillia Callum-Penso, The Greenville News
Work on the 1-mile stretch between J.B. “Red” Owens Recreation Complex and Pearson Road began in early spring and will resume once the city secures the necessary permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Fox Simons, city administrator.
For now, folks can get a small taste of what life would be like when the 3.5-mile greenway is completed.
The Greenway project grew from Easley’s broader bicycle and pedestrian master plan.
The city conducted a feasibility study in 2010, funded by Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study that laid out a plan of action, one that called for a series of bike paths and walking trail that would make the city more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
Out of the broader plan was gleaned a few projects that should be tackled immediately, one of which was the Greenway.
“The whole purpose of the master plan and the initiative to become bicycle and pedestrian friendly is to make Easley a better place for folks to live and to work,” Simons said. “And also to make it more attractive, and beneficial for our community.”
He said a 2012 feasibility study just on the Greenway plan showed that the city needed more bike lanes, paths and trails, and that people would use them
The conclusion was based on population density in the area and the lack of recreational facilities. The study, adopted by City Council on April 11, 2011, estimated the Greenway would attract between 137,000 and 206,000 trail usage trips a year.
Add in the Doodle Rail Trail, a proposed 8.5-mile rails-to-trails pedestrian and bike path between Easley and Pickens, and you’ve got a “phenomenal asset to Pickens County,” said Blake Sanders, a senior designer and landscape architect with Alta Planning and Design, and the lead consultant on the Brushy Creek Feasibility Study.