Dear Editor,

I read the interesting Letter to the Editor ìApologyî in the Feb. 15 in The Journal Scene. The writer rambled through apologies, adequate public facilities ordinances, bond ratings, lawsuits, parkways, historic downtown traffic congestion, high taxes, circuses, snakes, grass, goats and men.  Its format could well have been plagiarized from Through The Looking Glass had only ìcabbages and kingsî been included. I am certain there were various points made to various readers but there were three specific items that caught my attention. These are items that I either wish to question or address factually.

The writer may be in a better position than I to know but I was unaware and do not understand how a lawsuit has been filed to stop the Berlin G. Myers Parkway when it has yet to be funded, permitted, or final design completed. A little further explanation of this would have clarified and helped my understanding while providing more credibility to this statement.

The writer was correct in his assessment that this parkway has been in the making for well over 30 years.  The Day Wilburn Associates, Inc. final report of September 1998 commissioned by the Town of Summerville notes the parkway concept going back to the 1960ís as a ìbypass.î He could have noted that Day Wilburn Associates, Inc. (a.k.a. Carter Burgess Inc.) in their latest comprehensive traffic plan study (2006 -2008) commissioned by the Town of Summerville recommend the parkway if completed to become a ìprimary truck routeî through the Town of Summerville rather than a ìbypass.î The point could also have been made that this archaic concept for a parkway is now into its fifth decade and is being piecemealed at an ever increasing cost. This immediately throws up a flag as to why such a proposal would be pursued for so many years. A letter from the SCDOT Program Manager, dated April 13, 2006, estimates the cost of the parkway at nearly $20 million PER MILE. That estimate was made known nearly two years ago. Where will it finally end? The public needs to know.

The third and final point is the issue of traffic congestion in Historic Downtown Summerville. You must remember the data being referenced is that of SCDOT.  This data is published in their Final Environmental Assessment (Revised) of the Berlin G. Myers Parkway. The effect of BMP III by itself increases the traffic congestion through the Historic District.  BMP III diminishes the effectiveness of the remaining major Dorchester County Sales road projects in reducing traffic congestion through this area. Those interested can study the referenced SCDOT report and verify the numbers themselves. This already negative effect on traffic congestion through the downtown area does not take into consideration the decision by those in authority to incorporate a two lane throttle through the primary block of Historic Downtown. I cannot disagree and do not disagree with the aesthetic value of going to two lanes but the myth of BMP III reducing traffic congestion through this area should be publicly recognized by everyone including the Greater Summerville Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce.

I have spoken to specific points of which I am aware and where there are data generated by sources other than me, in this case SCDOT and Day Wilburn Inc., (a.k.a. Carter-Burgess, Inc.). I am merely trying to highlight that those presenting specific points make it perfectly clear when they are expressing their opinion rather than actually identifying factual sources for their statements. It is disingenuous and deceiving to the public to state opinions as fact without referencing a qualified source as their basis of reasoning.

I have shared my information sources and anyone can verify, confirm or dispute what I have said. I believe it is only right that those who write such articles share their sources of information with the public to provide resource information for credibility reasons.

The Summerville Journal Scene letter to the editor of Feb. 18 was interesting. I look forward to the next such article where the sources of information are stated and which the public can reference and decide for themselves.

I only ask that the residents of Summerville and Dorchester County be presented more facts and fewer opinions stated as fact.

Jim McGraw