Horry County Trail Summit Agenda - Coastal Carolina University
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Horry County Trail Summit: Getting to Shovel Ready

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Coastal Carolina University
Lib Jackson Student Union
Coastal Theater, Room A110
100 Spadoni Park Circle
Conway, SC 29526


Purpose: This summit will explore missing links whose progress could foster development toward shovel-ready trail projects in Horry County; a proposed rail trail and the East Coast Greenway.

Rationale: Communities throughout the region have worked to become bicycle-friendly, but there persists a lack of safe and comfortable facilities for either commuting or recreation that connects communities. Access to connected trails and protective recreation facilities establishes an alternative bicycle/pedestrian transportation system and encourages a positive impact on health and the quality of life while connecting communities that are economically vibrant. The East Coast Greenway and rail trail offer Horry County two major trail systems that inter-connect east/west and north/south and establish an additional non-motorized, multi-modal transportation route for students, commuters, and recreationalists. CCU and Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) are central to Horry County communities and represent a nexus of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that connects these two campuses to downtown Conway and the Grand Strand.

Goal: Host a region-wide summit that identifies trail needs, implementation challenges, and pre-construction requirements and that leads to shovel-ready trail projects (rail and greenway).

Schedule of Events 

 9:30 – 10:00    Registration (Lib Jackson Student Union Rotunda)

10:00                Call to Order, Delan Stevens

10:00 – 10:05   CCU Welcome Address by President Benson (Student Union Coastal Theater)

10:05 – 10:10   Summit Welcome Address by Senator Luke Rankin (Theater)

10:10 – 10:40   Panel 1: Opening Panel Discussion facilitated by Allison Hardin, City of Conway Planning and Development Director (Theater)

                        Topic:  What plans are in the works for your jurisdiction?

                        Who:   Representatives from various departments (Planning, Recreation, Public Works, Sports Tourism, Neighborhood Services)

10:40 – 11:00   Coffee Break: Visit participant exhibit booths (Rotunda)

11:00 – 11:30   Panel 1 continues (Theater)

                        Topic:  What plans are in the works for your jurisdiction?

                        Who:    Representatives from various departments

11:30 – 12:30   Lunch (A201)

12:30 – 1:15     Panel 2a: Getting to Shovel Ready facilitated by Tom Vitt (Theater)

Panel discusses recent history of how trail projects have been funded and new funding opportunities with a focus on feasibility studies and preconstruction activities

1:15 – 1:30     Coffee Break: Visit participant exhibit booths (Rotunda)

1:30 – 2:15     Panel 2b:  Rail Trail and East Coast Greenway Breakout Sessions facilitated by Tom HC Trail Summit Session 2B Topics

                       Russo and Tom Austin (upstairs in A201 and A202 - see below for details and locations)                    

2:15 – 2:45     Sustainability Student Presentation followed by Q&A facilitated by Sara Rich (Theater)

2:45 – 3:00     Summit Conclusion, Delan Stevens (Theater)

                       Return lanyards and name-card covers to Registration table; visit exhibit booths (Rotunda)           

3:00     Optional group bike ride led by Sara Rich, CCU Bicycle Advisory Council: meet in front of the Lib Jackson Student Union and ride from CCU to Conway, meet at downtown restaurant for refreshments, and return to CCU

Panel Logistics

Panel 1:  Opening Panel Discussion

Opportunities for jurisdictions to present trail development efforts and other bicycle friendly facilities and connections.  Representatives from various departments (Planning, Recreation, Public Works, Sports Tourism, Neighborhood Services) are encouraged to attend, although not all will necessarily be involved in the presentation.

Invited Participants

·         Atlantic Beach
·         Conway
·         Myrtle Beach
·         North Myrtle Beach
·         Surfside Beach
·         Briarcliffe Acres
·         Town of Aynor
·         Horry County
·         Coastal Carolina University
·         Horry Georgetown Technical College
·         GSATS
·         SCDOT
·         Horry County Schools
·         City of Loris

Panel 2:  A two-session panel that includes presentations followed by breakout sessions.  Each session will be a facilitated discussion for development of one of two region-wide trail systems; East Coast Greenway and a 34-mile rail trail from the Myrtle Beach to Loris via CCU and the Conway Train Depot (Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot).

2a –Panel Participants – Getting to Shovel Ready Past and Present   
·         GSATS – Mark Hoeweler Assistant Executive Director, WRCOG
·         SCPRT – Neal Hamilton, State Trails Coordinator
·         SCDOT – Machael Peterson, Director of Planning
·         Horry County RIDE3 Program – Danny Brown, Commissioner
·         Bike the Neck Advocacy Group – Linda Ketron

2b – Breakout Groups: Discussion items facilitated by Tom Russo (Rail Trail) and Tom Austin, (East Coast Greenway), and members of the Grand Strand Bicycle Club.     

Rail Trail (with Tom Russo in Room A201)
·        CCU to Conway Train Depot Segment
·        Rails with Trails Safety Concerns
·        Impacted Properties
·        Key Stakeholders
·        Project Champion/Sponsor
·        Feasibility Study Next Technical Step

East Coast Greenway (with Tom Austin in Room A202)
·        Review 2003 GSATS Master Plan
·        Trail Gaps/Priority Segments
·        Impacted Properties
·        Key Stakeholders
·        Project Champion/Sponsor
·        Feasibility Study Next Technical Step

Summit Logistics

Lunch Break:
Lunches will be served courtesy of Coastal Carolina University in the Student Union Rotunda. Other food options are available at campus dining in the Student Union.

Summit Strategies:
Summit strategies include participation by jurisdiction participants through both an opportunity to present activities and exhibit booth space, breaks that include visit to jurisdiction booths, and panel presentations and discussions.

Who to participate?
Recreational enthusiasts of area organizations (advocates, planners and committees), non-profit trail advocacy representatives, and government (municipal, county, state), and higher education.

Adjacent Student Project:
The significance of advocacy for trail projects cannot be overstated. A group of Dr. Andrew Busch’s CCU Sustainability students have adopted an advocacy project that surveys property owners along the Conway to CCU rail corridor and assesses support for a safe, alternative, non-motorized trail that can be used by students, commuters, and recreationalists. The lead student researcher will join the rail trail panel and convey the results of the survey in the conclusion to the Summit.

2022 Horry County Trail Summit Agenda

HC Trail Summit Panelist Bios