In support of more bike & hike trails in Tega Cay

[Also submitted for consideration on tegacayunderground.com]
**Update: Tega Cay Underground seems to have gone offline… rut-roh.**

One of the things I like the most about living in Tega Cay is the network of paths and trails that wind through our beautiful landscape here. Many of them provide convenient and safe routes to and from our neighborhoods, parks and playing fields, and give us the opportunity to walk or bike to places that we might otherwise drive to. Even those that don’t enhance connectivity still offer a scenic environment for getting some fresh air and exercise. This is why I plan to volunteer my time to help build more trails in our community.

After contacting some people involved in Parks and Rec, I’ve learned that there is considerable interest in this already. In the recent Parks and Rec survey, nearly 65% of respondents said that someone in their household would use new biking trails if they were available, making it the most popular amenity of those suggested.

I was told that “if we have enough volunteers with passion around the trails we are considering a Trails and Natural areas sub-committee as part of the Parks and Rec team” and people may be organizing as soon as next month to begin clearing new trails.

While it will certainly require a lot of effort, I would think it’s a project that would need less cash investment than many others, and could benefit greatly from good ol’ sweat equity, if people stepped up to help. I think the trails would be a sensible investment in a time when personal and city budgets are strained.

I wanted to write something about this on the Underground blog, because I’d love to generate some discussion on the topic, and maybe even recruit a few more volunteers.

I don’t know what, if any, plans are in place already, but here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about:

  • not only cutting new trails, but working to maintain and improve existing ones
  • ped-only trails? …bike-only trails? …shared trails?
  • Are there opportunities to create shortcuts connecting otherwise distant points (without intruding on people’s property and privacy)?
  • The golf course meanders throughout the entire city. Does this provide more challenges than opportunities? (There is lots of wooded area alongside the course, but how much of it is usable, without putting people in danger of flying balls?)
  • If we have the opportunity to set aside areas on the newer, undeveloped land for trails, can it link to the existing network, or will it be disconnected? (Trail connecting Lake Shore area off Hunter’s Run to area behind Wal-Mart – could this connect all the way to the school…?)

What do you think?
Leave comments here, and/or email tegacaytrails@gmail.com if you want to volunteer or get updates on trail work.

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