Sidewalk access to Catawba Ridge High School and Forest Creek Middle School

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**Amended to add Dominion Bridge connectivity as well

We, the residents of the neighborhoods on Whites Road, and the parents of students at Catawba Ridge High School and Forest Creek Middle School, respectfully request that sidewalks be completed on Whites Road between Forest Creek Middle School and the neighborhoods on the road. The current plan includes two gaps in pedestrian access. A gap between Dominion Bridge and Forrest Creek Middle School the length of 1 single family home and a 0.34 mile gap between the Middle School and Pecan Ridge Subdivision. 

Whites Road, in Fort Mill, SC, is located between the Fort Mill Bypass and the Waterside at the Catawba neighborhood. It is home to the entrance to 2 area schools – Catawba Ridge High School and, as of fall 2020, Forest Creek Middle School. This road is 1 mile long. Dominion Bridge subdivision is at the entrance of the road. Then there is a single family home with no sidewalk, and then the middle school spans 0.40 miles.  There  is a 0.34 mile stretch of road  with no margin for pedestrians next. There is one private residence on this stretch of land, and the rest is land associated with the power lines. Next follows 0.30 miles of side-walked road outside the neighborhoods of Pecan Ridge and Waterside at the Catawba.

There are hundreds of students that live in the neighborhoods off Whites Road – all are no more than 2 miles from the schools – easily bikeable and even walk friendly for many students. However, it is impossible to get to the schools due to stretches of road with no area for pedestrians.  This forces our students take a bus or car to school. Traffic in the area is already a problem and inevitably will get worse with the opening of the new school. We want the option for students to walk to school – taking cars and buses off the road. This will also provide a safe roadway for sports teams to run on and area residents to exercise.

We understand that this road is a state road, and there is no transportation improvement funds to solve this problem. Thus, we are requesting pedestrian access between Forest Creek and the neighborhoods as part of the existing budget for Forest Creek Middle School or as an add on the Pennies money allocated to the road for repaving. We request this to be completed by the opening of the school in fall 2020. We understand that the road is scheduled to be widened in the next decade and new sidewalks will be put in at that time; however, hundreds of students need to get to school now. Any money put toward a pedestrian walkway is not wasted. It is an investment in the traffic situation for our area, a reduction of cost in busing, and a step towards our community living a more active lifestyle.

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