Residents in Fort Mill have identified unsafe and insufficient pedestrian and cycling access between the Catawba Ridge High School (CRHS) (opened 2019), the adjacent Forest Creek Middle School (FCMS) (opening 2021) and two subdivisions: Waterstone at the Catawba and Pecan Ridge. One resident commented, “In Pecan Ridge, we could walk to either school, but not without getting hit by a car or walking in dangerous unplowed grass that’s owned by York County.” Students living relatively close to the schools would benefit from being able to walk and cycle to school.
CRHS has a sidewalk on certain parts of the property, but one parent describes them as random with abrupt ends. Similarly, FCMS will have sidewalks around the property but will not connect to nearby neighborhoods.
Specific needs identified include:
- Whites Road (on the left side of the FCMS blueprint below) needs a sidewalk to connect the residential areas with the schools;
- In the future, safe pedestrian/rolling access will be needed to the Fort Mill Southern Bypass (where stores are being built and the area currently is not safely walkable).
Whites Road is designated a York County Pennies 4 Resurfacing Project (from Fort Mill Parkway to JW Wilson/Skywater, project #17228-002l). Because it was identified as a “resurfacing project” when the referendum passed, legally it cannot be modified to fund sidewalks. Resurfacing will be done in 2021 (to avoid the middle school construction traffic tearing up the road). Whites Road is a state road, owned and maintained by the S.C. Department of Transportation.
Parent, Amy Boulris, started this “Sidewalk access to Catawba Ridge High School and Forest Creek Middle School” petition.
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 at the end of the road.Amy Boulris, Fort Mill resident and parent
The Rock Hill-Fort Mill-Area Transportation Study (RFATS) Policy Committee adopted a resolution (06/22/2020) that “planning for, funding, and incorporating sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities at all new school locations should be completed by the sponsoring agency during initial construction of the school site in order to best ensure the safety, convenience, and range of mobility choices for all system users.” RFATS is our local municipal planning organization responsible for our regional transportation plan.
Forest Creek Middle School Blueprint
Fort Mill Southern Bypass, with CRHS and FCMC
- Pink star: CRHS
- Green circle: CRHS football field and track
- Red star: FCMS
Relevant parties include:
- SC Department of Transportation – Owns and maintains Whites Road.
- SC Senate District 15 Representative Wes Climer – Should be advocating for safe SC Department of Transportation roads in District 15.
- York County, Planning Department and Council – Owns and maintains public property alongside Whites Road .
- York County Pennies for Progress – York County program that will resurface Whites Road in 2021, though not authorized to add sidewalks.
- Town of Fort Mill, Planning Department and Town Council
- Rock Hill-Fort Mill-Area Transportation Study (RFATS) – Our local municipal planning organization that issued the referendum requiring the school district to be responsible for planning for, funding, and incorporating sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities at all new school locations during initial construction of the school site.
- Fort Mill School District, Tommy Schmolze, EdD, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Student Services