For Immediate Release: July 17, 2010
CONTACT: Casey Fields
803.933.1256 (w) or 803.800.7225 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Municipal Association of South Carolina honors Travelers Rest with Achievement Award
The City of Travelers Rest received a Municipal Achievement Award for its Main Street revitalization project. Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s 70th Annual Meeting on July 17. The City won in the 1,001 – 5,000 population category. Thirty-two cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
Despite its name, Travelers Rest was not able to get motorists to slow down from busy U.S. 25 Main Street to visit downtown. The thoroughfare was wide with cracked and narrow sidewalks. The once vibrant commercial district had lost its character and charm. There were no trees or benches and few viable businesses along Main Street. Officials knew that a central business district was vital to the city’s long-term success.
With funding from a Transportation Enhancement Grant, the city hired an urban planner to develop a master plan for Main Street. The city used a series of public meetings, interviews and research to develop the plan. Throughout the process, officials collaborated with local colleges, businesses and state agencies for guidance and expertise. Crews reduced the four-lane highway to two lanes, with a landscaped median and wide sidewalk. They added a new park, landscaping, streetlights and park benches.
At the same time, the Swamp Rabbit Trail—an eleven-mile walkway that connects Travelers Rest with Greenville—received a major facelift, with cooperation and contributions from Greenville County Recreation District and Furman University. The newly enhanced trail played a major role in spurring the work along Main Street.
To complement and promote the downtown changes, leaders with input from residents devised a marketing plan and brand for the city. They put up street banners proclaiming, “It starts with TR.”
Under that slogan are printed words that describe the city: tradition, trade, trails, triumph.
Soon, new businesses opened along Main Street. Existing businesses updated their facades.
The new, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and trail became popular recreational spots for residents and visitors.
“Local officials in Traveler’s Rest made positive changes to their downtown to attract businesses andvisitors and made their hometown a more attractive place for residents,” said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association’s website (www.masc.sc).
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit Association of incorporated cities and towns dedicated to raising the standards of municipal government through a broad range of services.