District 25 Democrat Candidate Martha Evans:
Question 1) What do you think the County Council’s role is in improving the county’s walking and biking infrastructure?
Answer 1) The County’s Council’s role is crucial to seeing this endeavor implemented and carried out. It should be a Priority and at the top of the list for future projects in improving walking and biking infrastructure in District 25 and all other surrounding low-moderate neighborhoods.
Question 2) What would you say are Greenville’s transportation challenges? Do you think walking, biking and transit play a role in solving those challenges? How?
Answer 2) Having met and discussed this issue with Greenville Senior Action Director and with the Veterans Administration, there is not sufficient or adequate transportation services available for senior citizens or retired/ disabled veterans. They cannot get to their doctor and hospital visits. Many of them have to wait hours to return home if this service is provided.
Yes, walking and biking can play a role for those who are physically able to walk or ride a bike, but many senior citizens are not physically able. How? Special individualized transportation services should be made available. Start-up small business and transportation opportunities should be encouraged and made available for everyone.
Question 3) Greenville County’s 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 County Council plays in helping manage growth to ensure residents have transportation options?
Answer 3) Having contacted Greenville County several years ago for “Walk-Don’t Walk signs at the corner of White Horse and Crestfield Rd, the County made it happen and we began to see seniors and the community walk more and cross the street safely. New construction on District 25 and Greenville County’s South Side Must and Should include pedestrian and/or bike infrastructure because it is working and need to be extended to all surrounding low-to-moderate neighborhoods. Because Greenville County’s land use policies have a major impact on how people get around, Greenville County have a responsibility to ensure it happens.
Question 4) The Swamp Rabbit Trail has had a huge impact on the economy and quality of life in our county, and there are plans to extend the trail to CU-ICAR. Some, but not all, of these installations (I’m can be grant funded. What other revenue sources will you propose for expanding our off-road trail?
Answer 4) Being a 46 year resident in District 25, I am concerned about Southern Greenville County as well. Many residents have serious transportation needs. There is funding opportunities for private companies and non-profit organizations for those engaged in public transportation. You may visit http://www.fta.dot.goo/funding/grants/grants_financing_6106.html. There is also Transit Grants for Mid and Large Urban Areas with populations over 50,000.For populations over 200,000, funds are apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected locally to apply for and receive Federal funds.
Question 5) The 2014 Roads Referendum included 101 bike walk projects that would cost $47.8 million. These proposals included many safe-routes-to-school projects, such as sidewalks to Monarch Elementary and Bells Crossing Elementary. There has been no discussion of funding these projects since the defeat of the referendum. Do you support funding these projects? How can these projects be funded so they may be built in the near future?
Answer 5) I am a 46 year resident of District 25 (Southern Greenville County) and would like to see projects like these that would benefit and include our communities as well. There should be balance.
Question 6) Would you support the legislation in Columbia allowing a penny sales tax option for road improvements, including for biking and walking infrastructure, be granted to cities instead of just counties?
Answer 6) To my knowledge, our Governor, Nicki Haley has expressed her concern to the Senate and House about funds already available to improve the roads. If this does not happen, then Yes.
For rural (neighborhoods) areas in surrounding cities, yes, I would support a penny tax option for road improvement which includes biking and walking infrastructure.
Question 7) What role do you think County Council should play in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school?
Answer 7 ) Greenville County Council should be at the table, help manage growth for future plans in making it safer to walk and bike to school.
Question 8) Public Transportation passengers often walk or bike to their destinations from the nearest bus stop; however lack of funding for bike walk infrastructure is a barrier for use of public transportation. What funding sources could County Council provide to help support Greenlink expansion and accessibility to bus stops?
Answer 8) Greenville County Council should pursue Transit Grants for Mid and Large Urban Areas for populations of 50,000 or more. There is Federal Funding available for these projects.
Question 9) Tell us about your personal experiences riding a bike, running or walking in Greenville County for recreation, exercise or transportation.
Answer 9) Since 2011 up to the present time, I am founder and coordinator of an Annual Health, Wellness and Safety Fair each October for community families at Mt. Pleasant Community Center. (District 25) In 2011-13, as a non-profit collaborative partnership with Gvlle County Recreation and Mt. Pleasant Community Center, I was able to manage a Community Walk and Relay Program in District 25. More than 50 young ladies participated in daily walking and a weekly Zumba aerobics class. I am a former aerobics instructor and have worked for Greenville City to manage a health, fitness and and nutrition. I am presently a 30 year nutritional health and wellness consultant and provides nutritional training for children, youth and seniors in Greenville County. In the earlier years, I have along with my staff provided bus transportation for single parent mothers during the DSS “Welfare to Work” program.
I am presently an owner of “Evans Charter Services” and manage the bus transportation for Evans Learning Center.