‘Meet me here after work’ options are great, but getting around in the Vista is tough

04/25/2013 12:00 AM

04/24/2013 6:35 PM

Jeremy Grant enjoys his work as a geologist at Fuss & O’Neill, a local engineering firm. In fact, as someone who likes to get out, go to gallery shows and bicycle around, he may enjoy where he works almost as much as what he does.

“I may be a little bit biased but, as far as a business environment, (the Vista) is one of the top spots in Columbia,” he said.

Fuss & O’Neill is tucked inside a row of brick buildings along Lady Street – within walking distance of galleries, restaurants and nightspots.

“There are events that go on here all the time, so I can call my wife and say, ‘Hey, meet me here after work and let’s go to Artista Vista or out to dinner.’”

But as much as he says it’s a great place to work and go out, there’s room for improvement.

Whether it’s trying to walk or bicycle west of the Vista – to Riverfront Park, West Columbia or Cayce – or to Main Street or the capitol – Grant says it’s difficult to access those areas from the Vista.

“The challenge that I see for the Vista in large part is a connectivity issue,” he said.

Grant, who serves on the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, said for visitors especially, trying to get around on foot or by bike can be tough.

He said a visiting VIP from his company recently had trouble finding a place to run. After a few blocks, the executive decided to return to his hotel but then had trouble finding an intersection with easy pedestrian crossing.

Connecting the Vista to other areas of town would not only increase the quality of life for the area’s residents, Grant says, it would be good for visitors and a boon to the economy.

“We have people who are coming here from out of town who want to be able to enjoy the bars and restaurants here in the Vista but also access the natural beauty of our rivers, the old graveyards and all the great things we have here.”

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