Homeowners Along Burwell Lane Aim To Change Entrance of Greenway

The Gills Creek greenway discussion continues, residents worried about safety.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Thursday, March 9th, is the last day for public comment on the Gills Creek Greenway project.

The Richland County Penny Tax program has been working to create the greenway for the past year. However, the project has been met with opposition, with residents concerned about safety.

"I don't have a problem with a greenway, I just don't want it in my backyard,” says Sandy Hennies

She is among dozens of people in her neighborhood who are worried about the project.

The plans have it starting at Kilbourne Road, coming right behind her home and leading down to Bluff Road.
 
"What we're proposing is a compromise,” says Hennis. “Instead of coming down Burwell, to take it over to the south side of Jackson Blvd."

Jim Reid is also concerned about safety and the impact the October 2015 flood still has on the community.
 
"Unless you've been through a catastrophic situation like this flood, I don't think you can truly understand how emotional it is to deal with it," says Reid.

Penny Tax program manager David Beaty says they have heard the concerns from people living in the Kilbourne Road area and are taking all of their comments into consideration.
 
"The number one thing that we can do is listen to them and try to explain the alternatives and the different options,” says Beaty. “That's what we've been doing and that's what we'll continue to do prior to making any recommendations."

Comments from last year's public input meeting directed program managers to shift the walkway to the opposite side of Rosewood Drive.

More than 400 comments have been submitted, including from those who are all for the project.
 
"There's a hundred reasons why the greenway is beneficial to Columbia,” says Scott Nuelken, with Cola Town Bike
Collective.

He is looking forward to the potential greenway space.
  
"Any trail system added to a city increases the healthiness of the people there, the livability, the quality of life."

Nuelken says the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to proposed four-mile trail.
  
"It's going to benefit everybody who has access to this greenway."

The last day to submit your comments on the $2.2 million project is tomorrow.

The Richland County Penny Tax program will then a couple weeks to read through the comments, make changes and then present it again to county council.
 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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