Long-planned improvements to fourteen blocks of Calhoun Street (Wayne to Harden) include resurfacing (from Wayne to Gregg), restriping, and the installation of bike accommodations. This project includes a change in the traffic pattern, which is supported by existing traffic volumes.
About the Change in Traffic Patterns:
The installation of dedicated bike lanes adjacent to on-street parking have shifted vehicular lane assignments and turning patterns between Park and halfway between Henderson and Barnwell; motor vehicle travel within the dedicated bike lanes is not permitted by law.
Share the road markings, also known as sharrows, were installed along Calhoun between Wayne and Park and between Henderson and Barnwell to Harden, and while traffic patterns in this section of the roadway remain the same, the arrows will help identify the best course of travel for bicyclists, while bringing awareness of their presence to vehicular drivers.
On-street parking, while not heavily utilized along most blocks, was maintained throughout the corridor, with some removal of parking along the north side of Calhoun, and identified new parking locations along the south side of Calhoun.
As part of the project, a three-block road diet along Calhoun between Sumter and Pickens reduces the number of vehicular driving lanes from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane. This shift increases safety and efficiency through creating more comfortable driving conditions, more efficient turning movements, and a reduction in the possible points of conflict.
You can view an informational presentation about the project on the City’s YouTube channel here.
Why the Improvements Were Made:
Calhoun is a lower-volume street that provides an east-west connection between Wayne and Harden. In 2012, the Richland County Penny Tax Referendum identified bike facilities along Calhoun, and with that knowledge, the Walk Bike Columbia Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan identified Calhoun as a major east/west connector – this plan was adopted by the City in 2015 after a robust public planning process.
How the Improvements Were Funded
These improvements are contracted by the City as part of a partnership between the City, the Richland County Penny Tax for Transportation, and the Richland County CTC. The project is managed by the City of Columbia, and was awarded to a contractor through the City’s regular procurement process.
About Multimodal transportation planning
Multimodal transportation planning is a shared effort that involves a number of City departments, including Planning and Development Services, Engineering, Public Works, CPD, and Parks & Recreation (where linear parks, or greenways, are developed). This collaborative approach is integral to implementing the City’s pedestrian and bicycle master plan, Walk Bike Columbia, as well as recommendations of Columbia Compass, the City’s comprehensive plan. You can access information about multimodal transportation planning efforts at https://planninganddevelopment.columbiasc.gov/ .