SC Senate Candidates Answer our Questions

Senate District 2 Candidate Rex Rice

rice1) What do you think your role is in improving walking and biking infrastructure in upstate South Carolina?

To encourage the incorporation of inter-connectivity and accessibility in the design of residential and commercial developments.

2) What do you think are the biggest transportation challenges in the Upstate? Do you think walking, biking and transit play a role in solving those challenges? How?

Currently the biggest challenge we have is making our roads safer. This includes widening the shoulders which allows for walking and biking.

3) Land-use policies have a major impact on how people get around. Numerous studies show if you build pedestrian and bike-related infrastructure, people will use it. In addition, this type of infrastructure is much cheaper to build and maintain than car-based infrastructure. But when new construction is not required to include pedestrian and/or bike infrastructure, it is very often not included, limiting people’s options, and make foot and bicycle transportation less safe. What role do you think the state plays in helping manage growth to ensure Upstate residents have transportation options?

Offering tax credit incentives for developers willing to include such infrastructure. Also, demands from the free market will encourage it.

4) The Swamp Rabbit Trail has had a huge impact on the economy and quality of life in the Greenville area, and there are plans to extend the trail to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. Some, but not all, of this can be grant funded. What other revenue sources will you propose for expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail?

Local accommodation funds

5) Would you support the legislation allowing a penny sales tax option for road improvements, including for biking and walking infrastructure, be granted to cities?

I am not in favor of that.

6) What role do you think the state should play in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school?

Future road designs should include accommodations for pedestrian and bike traffic where appropriate.

7) Tell us about your personal experiences riding a bike, running or walking for recreation, exercise or transportation.

Only an occasional, casual user in biking and walking trails.

The other district 2 Candidates Don Joslyn, incumbent Larry Martin, and Allan Quinn did not respond to our questions.

 

Senate District 6 Candidate William Timmons

Timmons1) What do you think your role is in improving walking and biking infrastructure in upstate South Carolina?

I want to continue to be an advocate for a healthy lifestyle and improving the walking and biking infrastructure throughout the upstate. If elected senator, I will stand up for more of these types of opportunities for our community.

2) What do you think are the biggest transportation challenges in the Upstate? Do you think walking, biking and transit play a role in solving those challenges? How?

The biggest challenge has been a State Department of Transportation that was more interested in appealing to state political interests than to appeal to the taxpayers by taking care of our state’s top priorities. Yes, biking, walking and public transportation can and should play a big part of the solution. We should look to integrate public walking and biking lanes into planning new and existing roads from now on. If we can create user-friendly roadways, we can grow our tax base and create more tourism dollars for our state. It just makes good common sense.

3) Land-use policies have a major impact on how people get around. Numerous studies show if you build pedestrian and bike-related infrastructure, people will use it. In addition, this type of infrastructure is much cheaper to build and maintain than car-based infrastructure. But when new construction is not required to include pedestrian and/or bike infrastructure, it is very often not included, limiting people’s options, and make foot and bicycle transportation less safe. What role do you think the state plays in helping manage growth to ensure Upstate residents have transportation options?

As I mentioned in my other answer, we need to make bike and walking lanes a priority in the planning stages of new roads and repair/replace opportunities so we can maximize these options for taxpayers.

4) The Swamp Rabbit Trail has had a huge impact on the economy and quality of life in the Greenville area, and there are plans to extend the trail to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. Some, but not all, of this can be grant funded. What other revenue sources will you propose for expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail?

I own Swamp Rabbit Crossfit and have worked for many years to improve this trail and ultimately to stretch it all the way to the mountains. I think we should look at other public/private partnerships to help fund these types of endeavors and encourage as much new green space as possible.

5) Would you support the legislation allowing a penny sales tax option for road improvements, including for biking and walking infrastructure, be granted to cities?

I think it is important that local governments and their constituents have more control over local decisions. I do believe any local sales tax option should always be decided by the voters.

6) What role do you think the state should play in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school?

I support new initiatives to make it safer for us to recreate community schools that would encourage students to walk and bike to school. I would like to see local school boards and local governments making those types of decisions.

7) Tell us about your personal experiences riding a bike, running or walking for recreation, exercise or transportation.

I mentioned before I own Swamp Rabbit Crossfit and I care about keeping a healthy mind and body. I exercise every day, and it is a big part of my life. I was a college tennis player and believe competitive sports are important to help creating a balanced and healthy life.

The other district 6 candidates Johnny Edwards and incumbent Mike Fair did not respond to our questions.

Senate District 7 Candidate Lillian Brock Flemming

Flemming1) What do you think your role is in improving walking and biking infrastructure in upstate South Carolina?

If elected as a state senator, I think my role is to support as well as to initiate Infrastructure legislation which saves our environment and allow local jurisdictions funding methods to improve walking and biking infrastructure.

2) What do you think are the biggest transportation challenges in the Upstate? Do you think walking, biking and transit play a role in solving those challenges? How?

I think the biggest transportation challenge in the Upstate and specifically, Greenville County, is the lack of dedicated funding which provides transportation which is safe, reliable, affordable, covers the entire County and has 7 days service hours allowing citizens without transportation to become employed.

Walking, biking and transit play a role in solving these challenges by giving affordable transportation to the massive of people without transportation.  Biking and walking help save the environment and improving the health of participants.  Safe trails for both biking and walking need to cover the entire County.  Mass Transit will reduce the number of cars on the road which could save wear and tear and reduce traffic congestion.

3) Land-use policies have a major impact on how people get around. Numerous studies show if you build pedestrian and bike-related infrastructure, people will use it. In addition, this type of infrastructure is much cheaper to build and maintain than car-based infrastructure. But when new construction is not required to include pedestrian and/or bike infrastructure, it is very often not included, limiting people’s options, and make foot and bicycle transportation less safe. What role do you think the state plays in helping manage growth to ensure Upstate residents have transportation options?

I think the role of the state is to provide the statewide growth management research and to support as well as to initiate Infrastructure legislations which allow local jurisdictions the funding methods to develop transportation options which work for their communities.  The state should work with counties and cities to improve the quality of life of citizens not work against them or without their input.

4) The Swamp Rabbit Trail has had a huge impact on the economy and quality of life in the Greenville area, and there are plans to extend the trail to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. Some, but not all, of this can be grant funded.  What other revenue sources will you propose for expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail?

If state government allowed every local jurisdiction — County and City — to use the Local Option Sales tax for a limited number of years to fund infrastructure needs, this would allow the state to develop an additional funding source for roads, dams and bridge maintenance and repair, which is normally send to local jurisdictions.

5) Would you support the legislation allowing a penny sales tax option for road improvements, including for biking and walking infrastructure, be granted to cities? 

See my response for #4

6) What role do you think the state should play in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school?

I think role of the State is to support as well as to initiate Infrastructure legislation which saves our environment and allow local jurisdictions funding methods to improve walking and biking infrastructure for children to be safe walking and biking to school, where schools are not located near major six lane highways.

7) Tell us about your personal experiences riding a bike, running or walking for recreation, exercise or transportation.

On City Council, I served on the original committee to develop the 11 miles of the Swamp Rabbit trail for the joint effort of the City and the County.  My family and I use the trail for walking as a family and to teach grandchildren how to be safe bike riders and respectful of the environment.

The other district 7 candidate incumbent Karl Allen did not respond to our questions.

Senate District 12 Candidate Lisa Cooley Scott

Lisa Cooley Scott1) What do you think your role is in improving walking and biking infrastructure in upstate South Carolina?

First, I think you must have a pedestrian friendly mentality. I do, as well as support active living. As mayor of Duncan, we are currently working on the Byrnes Mile. This mile is a mile of sidewalks for walkers which will be enhanced with benches, landscaping, and drinking fountains. As senator, I can advocate, but many municipalities need to buy into this idea.

2) What do you think are the biggest transportation challenges in the Upstate? Do you think walking, biking and transit play a role in solving those challenges? How?

Crumbling roads top the list. But, there is also congestion issues as well. I believe that walking, biking, and transit play a role solving these challenges. If less people are driving, there would be fewer people on the roads.

3) Land-use policies have a major impact on how people get around. Numerous studies show if you build pedestrian and bike-related infrastructure, people will use it. In addition, this type of infrastructure is much cheaper to build and maintain than car-based infrastructure. But when new construction is not required to include pedestrian and/or bike infrastructure, it is very often not included, limiting people’s options, and make foot and bicycle transportation less safe. What role do you think the state plays in helping manage growth to ensure Upstate residents have transportation options?

I agree that if bike related and pedestrian friendly infrastructure is in place people will use it. The Upstate is going to continue to grow without a doubt. The state’s role in this is to support these measures because they not only promote a healthy lifestyle but, also have an economic impact on our state. We can become more of a destination for those individuals to not only live, but also visit and enjoy.

4) The Swamp Rabbit Trail has had a huge impact on the economy and quality of life in the Greenville area, and there are plans to extend the trail to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. Some, but not all, of this can be grant funded. What other revenue sources will you propose for expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail?

I realize that grant funding needs to play a major role in this. However, I would think that tourism dollars could be used as well.

5) Would you support the legislation allowing a penny sales tax option for road improvements, including for biking and walking infrastructure, be granted to cities? 

I think that the penny sales tax option would be good for road improvements needed for biking and walking. As long as each municipality has the option to buy into that idea.

6) What role do you think the state should play in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school?

Children should be able to walk or bike to school safely. I do believe that this issue is a local one, which needs to be addressed by each county or municipality.

7) Tell us about your personal experiences riding a bike, running or walking for recreation, exercise or transportation.

As previously noted, Duncan is a great place to walk. We have great sidewalks, so my experience has been a positive one. As far as biking, I believe that more bike lanes or share roads are needed, as well as proper signage.

The other district 12 candidates incumbent Lee Bright, David McCraw, and Scott Talley did not respond to our questions.

Thanks to Greenville Spinners Vice President Sarah Franco who contacted all of the upstate legislative delegation with our questions!

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