Monday, January 14, 2013
The S.C. Department of Transportation has denied the town’s request for a stoplight where Country Club and Pinecrest boulevards intersect with U.S. 17-A.
Town officials, however, intend to pursue the matter further with Robert Clark, the administrator for the local engineering district.
“I’ll host him for a cup of coffee while we sit there (and watch traffic),” Mayor Bill Collins said.
Although the stoplight wasn’t listed on the public works committee agenda for Wednesday, committee members and staffers – and the mayor, speaking from the audience – discussed the latest development and agreed to continue pushing for a light.
Last February, at the town’s request, S.C. DOT banned drivers from exiting onto U.S. 17-A from Tea Farm Road because of a blind curve there.
Drivers were redirected to Country Club Boulevard to leave the neighborhood, and at the time Town Engineer Russ Cornette said the extra traffic on Country Club Boulevard might qualify it for a stoplight.
S.C. DOT, after conducting a warrant study, disagreed.
Councilman Terry Jenkins found that hard to believe.
“You’ve got the school, you’ve got the fire department, you’ve got two main roads that come through there,” he said.
S.C. DOT considers accidents when it does a warrant study, but it doesn’t consider near-accidents, which don’t get reported.
“This is always an issue, the almost accidents … It happens all the time,” said Councilwoman Kima Garten-Schmidt.
Council members agreed that traffic in the morning and afternoon rush hours make it extremely difficult for people to get out of the neighborhoods that line U.S. 17-A.
If the town were to agree to cover the cost of a stoplight itself, it would cost at least $50,000.