First, small part of first penny project opens

Well, that was quick. Seems like I just saw them starting on this. At the same time, I guess I should say it’s about time, and when will you finish? — I first heard about plans to do this at least 10 years ago, as part of the general pitch about the Innovista.

The first piece of the project to turn Greene Street into a pedestrian-friendly corridor reaching down to the river is now open to use. Of course, there’s not much to see until the whole thing is done:

The initial phase of the Innovista project, which will eventually link the University of South Carolina campus to Columbia’s riverfront, has opened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, according to Swansea-based contractor LAD Corp.

The project is part of the first major construction to use the Richland County’s penny sales tax program, which was designed for transportation improvements. The Greene Street transformation has been in the works for the last decade.

The $10 million first phase involves a section of Greene Street between Assembly and Park streets, running between the Koger Center and USC’s Darla Moore School of Business….

So on the one hand, we have the scandal over the penny revenues, the full scope of which we have yet to know.

On the other, we have one small, concrete thing having been partly accomplished.

This raises the question — so… How’s it coming on developing a riverside park for the other end of this?

7 thoughts on “First, small part of first penny project opens

  1. Michael Bramson

    It was closed again this morning, but I think it’s because they’re planting some trees, so that’s good, I suppose. Certainly didn’t feel quick to those of us who pass by there every day. In fact, it seemed awfully slow for what appears to amount to repaving one block of road and sidewalk, but it looked like they were doing an awful lot of infrastructure work under the road that’s never mentioned in these news stories, so maybe there is more to it than I am aware of.

  2. Doug Ross

    “So on the one hand, we have the scandal over the penny revenues, the full scope of which we have yet to know. On the other, we have one small, concrete thing having been partly accomplished.”

    Another glowing endorsement of government at work.

    As long as you lower the bar on your expectations to mediocrity and never on time, you won’t be disappointed.

  3. Karen Pearson

    Why aren’t the prioritizing the ‘roads’ they have first? Are they waiting for a couple of smart cars to fall into each pothole so they can just pave over them and save money on the fill?

    1. Doug Ross

      Because that would make too much sense and wouldn’t have been as “cool” to sell when they were marketing the tax increase. Fix roads? What? Why would we do that when we can create a bike path for a dozen people to ride on when the temperature is above 40 degrees and below 90 (i.e. four months a year)?

      All I want to see is a prioritized list of roads to be repaired with start dates, projected end dates, and estimated costs. Then keep score of how they do on meeting schedules and budgets. You know, like we do in the real world.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I thought there WAS such a list, and the Innovista thing was on it. Which is how I knew they were going to do this.

        Frankly, I wasn’t much interested in the list, because I saw the road projects as a necessary evil to get funding for public transit.

        As I said before at the time, I was only about 55 percent for the penny referendum. If it had just been for transit, I’d have been 100 percent.

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