University Facilities

Campus Bikeways - Existing Conditions

Existing Campus Conditions

  • Existing Bikeways +

    Existing Campus BikewaysThere are approximately 4.24 miles of existing bikeways on campus. Bikeways were installed on a few campus roads in the mid 1990’s with an ISTEA grant from the federal government based on 1992 Campus Master Plan recommendations. Bike lanes exist along the far western and eastern sections of Old Greenville Highway within Clemson University Campus boundaries and along the western half of Perimeter Road as shown on the map. Old Greenville Highway is designated as a shared roadway from the intersection of Cherry Road to the intersection of Perimeter Road.

    The condition of the bikeways on campus ranges from debris-free and clearly designated to poorly signed, debris covered and narrow. The shared roadway, which runs for one mile along Old Greenville Highway, is designated by only one “Share the Road” sign. Speed limits on Perimeter Road range from 35 mph to 45 mph. The table below contains photos of some of the existing bikeways conditions on campus roads. The conditions are listed below and range from good to poor. The photos are useful in identifying the characteristics of good and poor bikeways conditions.

    Photographs of Existing Bike Lanes and Conditions on Campus
    Good
    Bike Lane  Old Greenville Hwy. Good Pavement Marking. Debris-Free Bike Lane.
    Bike Lane
    Old Greenville Hwy.
    Good Pavement Marking. Debris-Free Bike Lane.
    Fair
    Bike Lane, Perimeter Road.Bike Lane
    Perimeter Road.
    Road Debris. Hidden Sign.
    Poor
    Bike Lane, Perimeter RoadBike Lane
    Perimeter Road
    Overgrown vegetation.
    Poor pavement condition.
    Raised/uneven bike lane.
    Poor
    Shared Roadway, Old Greenville Hwy.Shared Roadway
    Old Greenville Hwy
    Lacks Signs, Shared Lane Markings

    To get a better understanding of campus roadway design and conditions, a roadway cross-section inventory was completed for several roads. Each cross section spans the roadway, and includes sidewalk, shoulder, parallel parking spots, bike lane and travel lane widths, if they are present. Recording this information is helpful in seeing how the road width and design changes and can show how the condition can shape the feeling of traveling by car, bike or on foot.

    Results from the inventory show that many roads have varying shoulder, traffic lane and parallel parking widths over short distances. This can make traveling by bicycle difficult. If a bicyclist has to merge from the shoulder to sharing the travel lane in a short distance with no visible signage or pavement markings communicating expected behavior, this can create an unsafe condition on the roadway. Inconsistencies like this along a roadway can create an unsafe environment for bicyclists if their place is not clearly designated.

    There are a couple of places on campus where this occurs. For example, along Cherry Road, which is less than a mile long, there are at least 5 different roadway widths and conditions. Perimeter Road, from Old Greenville Highway to Cherry Road, also has a number of inconsistencies and road condition changes that may lead to an unsafe feeling for bicyclists. A cross section of Perimeter Road is shown on the following page. More consistency in road, shoulder and parallel parking striping efforts can dramatically affect on-road bikeway facilities. Please see Appendix C for more on campus roadway cross sections.

    Clemson University Bikeways Master Plan Cross Sections

  • Sidewalks and Bicyclists +

    Bicycle rider on the sidewalk near Bowman FieldMany bicyclists use the sidewalk on campus, even along areas where a designated bikeway exists. In some areas, cyclists do not feel safe or comfortable riding in the road with traffic and will ride on the sidewalk instead. In other area, sidewalks provide quicker, more convenient paths than the road. Cyclists riding on the sidewalk create many opportunities for potential conflict with pedestrians, especially in high traffic areas like near the Cooper Library and along Old Greenville Highway in front of Bowman Field.

  • Signage and Pavement Markings +

    Bikeway signage and pavement markings are present on some bikeways on campus. Standard bike lane pavement markings are found on some of the bike lanes on campus. All of the existing bike lanes are appropriately striped, but some are missing a MUTCD bike lane figure. Current bike lane signage is also missing from all bike lanes. The bike lane signs on Perimeter Road are out of date, and need to be replaced. Standard, consistent markings are preferred on all bike lanes. 

    The designated shared roadway found along part of Old Greenville Highway only has one “Share the Road” sign, and is only facing one direction. No other bikeway signage, pavement markings or designation exists along this route. This is the only shared roadway within the boundaries of the University campus.

  • Bike Racks +

    Bicycles parked on the railing near the Cooper Library EntranceDesign Guidelines written in 1982 provides recommendations for bicycle parking, including a preferred bicycle rack and guidelines for rack placement. The actual type of bicycle rack found around the campus varies. Many racks are found behind or to the sides of buildings, pushed up against plants or buildings, on uneven ground, covered by wood chips and in other inconvenient places, reducing rack access and usability. In some areas on campus, bicycle riders improvise, creating their own bike racks. Racks located near campus housing or academic buildings are often overcrowded, especially during class time.

  • Maintenance +

    There is no maintenance schedule for clearing bikeways on campus. Bike lanes are rarely swept, and especially littered with debris after storm events. In some areas, grass and tree branches are impeding the bikeway, making the lanes dangerous to use. Bike lane striping and pavement markings on Old Greenville Highway are in good condition.

  • Design Guidelines +

    Design Guidelines for bicycle facilities on campus came out of the 1982 Clemson University Comprehensive Plan. Recommendations for bicycle facility and amenity development as they relate to pedestrian and vehicular systems, plantings, site furnishings, site lighting, site work and buildings are found throughout. Design guidelines for bike paths, routes, lanes, multi-use paths, bicycle parking, bicycle storage, signage, bicycle racks and pavement are provided. An update to the Bikeway Design Guidelines can be found in the appendix.

  • The Clemson Area Transit Bus System +

    The Clemson Area Transit (CAT) Bus System is the free, public transit system that circulates through campus and the local, extended community. All buses have bike racks, allowing cyclists to reach destinations that might be difficult by bicycle alone. Bus travel beyond the campus boundaries, stretching to Seneca, Central, Pendleton and Anderson, along with stops along major routes in the City of Clemson. Some bus stops are designated with a sign or shelter, but many are not. Bus drivers will also stop anywhere along a route at undesignated areas if a patron flags them down, especially along routes outside of campus. Bus route maps are available at places on campus, on buses and at some local businesses.

  • Campus Outdoor Recreation and Education +

    CORE's officeClemson’s CORE program has a bike rental program. Students can rent a hybrid bicycle, helmet, bike and lock for $50 a year, $30 a semester or $10 a month. Students are offered a brief orientation with the bike and equipment. The cost includes one tune up and one tube replacement per semester. In the fall of 2011, CORE owned 50 commuter bikes and was looking to expand the program. Bikes sold out on the first day of class. CORE also has 15 mountain bikes for rent on a short term (daily, weekend or weekly rental) basis. Beginner mountain biking trips to the Clemson Experimental Forest and other popular mountain biking destinations locally and across the country are also offered. CORE also provides a bike shop where the campus community can work on their bikes with tools that Clemson provides. In the fall of 2010 they started to offer a maintenance class twice a semester to students, faculty and staff that has been popular. 

  • Existing Forest Conditions +

    The Clemson Experimental Forest is managed by the Clemson Forest Manager. Trail maintenance is primarily performed by volunteers from various user groups. The trails are maintained by the users, like local equestrian groups and mountain bike riders, with occasional help from other community groups like the Boy Scouts.

  • Trails and Roads +

    Trails have been developed by various forest user groups. Over time, some have fallen out of use, while other are have continuous heavy use. New trails also appear from time to time, sometimes replacing older trails and other times adding extensions to existing trails and, therefore, adding to the total mileage of trails in the forest. Managing official trails and activities in the forest is difficult due to limited staff and budgets. Most trails and roads are open to non-motorized users year round. Trails are closed in designated areas during hunting season, product removal and occasional special user group events. The campus and forest bikeway maps shows approximately 113.8 miles of existing forest trails open to various users. (For more information, see Section 5. Recommendations.

    A road classification system was developed by the Forest Manager to manage the location, condition and identity of trails and roads in the Forest. This information also is useful in managing activities, especially timber removal. The table on the next page shows that road classes 1 – 6 are unpaved roads or trails. Road classes 8 and higher are paved or public roads. All users of the forest may use class 1, 2, 6 and 8 roads for non-motorized recreational use. Gated forest roads are closed to vehicles except for official university use or other permitted access. Class 1 roads are maintained for year round use. Class 2 roads are open during good and fair weather, and are closed when the road conditions become hazardous. Class 4 trails are closed to horse and bicycle traffic. Class 3 roads are not maintained, and may be overgrown and fall out of use over time. Classes 5 and 7 are reserved and have not been used to classify any roads at the forest. Classes 8 and higher are used to classify public roads.

    Forest Road and Trail Classifications

    Forest Road Class Road Type Allowed Activity* Road Example
    1 All Weather Road Vehicular, Hike, Bike and Horse Issaqueena Lake Road (North Forest)
    2 Fair Weather Road Vehicular, Hike, Bike and Horse Turkey Creek Trail (North Forest)
    3 Product Removal Road Hiking, Bike and Horse Parts of Six Mile Creek Trail (North Forest)
    4 Foot Traffic Only Hiking Only
    Issaqueena Lake Trail (North Forest)
    6* Multiple Use Trails
    Hike, Bike and Horse Seed Orchard Road (South Forest)
    8 (and higher) Public Roads Vehicular Traffic and Bike Fant’s Grove Road (South Forest)
    * Roads and trails are open to timber removal as needed. Actual timber removal activities may cause the periodic closure of some trails and road.

    **(Classes 5 & 7 are not currently used to classify roads.)

    This information has been used to manage the network of Forest trails and roads. Most of the roads and trails are classified using this class system, however, there are some trails that have not been recorded or classified using this system because they may be new, were not officially sanctioned by the University or time limitations of staff. Maintaining trail and road condition, location and activity is difficult in the forest because the information is not kept up to date. Enforcing trail closures and trail user-group policy’s is also hard because of staff limitations.

    Clemson Experimental Forest - Existing Trails

  • Maps +

    Maps are available in a limited capacity. In the South forest, trails have been identified as foot, horse and bicycle trails or foot traffic only based on the road classification system. A Clemson University map of trails in the South Forest is available through the Forest website, though it is not regularly updated. In the North Forest, the road classification system has been used to identify some of the roads and trails that are available on some publicly available maps, however it has not been used to make a comprehensive map of trails. The road classification system has not been used to develop a comprehensive network of trails in the Forest. Non-University North Forest maps have been developed by user groups, and are available online.

  • Trail Management, User Group Conflict +

    YieldEven though there are trails and maps, a major issue for the Forest trail system is trail management. Maintaining the conditions of current roads and trails, minimizing the development of unofficial trails and enforcing trail policies and rules are important strategies in having a recreation component to the forest. Creating an environment where people feel comfortable to explore and recreate in the 17,500 acres of Forest is also critical. Currently, users say that finding their way can be confusing. Trails lack signs, trail heads and other markings that provide a sense of connection along a trail or between places. Managing trail closures is another issue. Parts of the Forest and trails are occasionally closed to the public for product removal, hunting, special events, trail maintenance and other reasons. Keeping this information up to date and posting it at trail heads is important to promoting a sense of safety.

    Additionally, all people who ride bikes in the forest are not looking for the same experience. Some bicyclists will want to ride on paved roads while others will want to ride on various unpaved trails.

  • Funding +

    Funds for maintaining, managing and staffing all activities in the forest are funded from the profits of selling timber. The Forest Manager is in charge of managing stands of timber in the forest. There are less than 10 full, part time and student employees to manage the 17,000 acre forest. There are no additional funds from student, recreation, laboratory or community user fees collected to support activities in the forest.

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