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Work planned for Courtenay downtown
Post and Courier
Anyone who regularly travels Spring Street knows to avoid the far left
lane near Courtenay Drive. That’s where a line of cars often sits,
waiting to turn onto the already packed road leading to MUSC and
Those frustrated by the traffic congestion may soon get some relief, as
Charleston County looks to spend half-cent sales tax money on several
roadways in the area. Two possible improvement plans were presented to
the public Jan. 29, and residents’ input on the project will be
accepted through Feb. 15.
One proposal calls for converting the section of Courtenay Drive
between Spring and Cannon streets from a two-way street to a one-way
street allowing traffic to travel southeast only. Traffic leaving the
MUSC campus would then use Bee Street and Lockwood Drive to access U.S.
The other proposal also includes two lanes in the southeast direction
for that portion of Courtenay, but additionally calls for widening it
to three lanes to allow traffic to continue moving in both directions.
The two proposals are identical in every other way. If either are
selected, Courtenay would be widened from two-lanes to four between
Cannon and Ralph H. Johnson Drive. Bee would be widened to four lanes
between Courtenay and Lockwood.
All lanes in the project area would be at least 11 feet wide to
accommodate transit buses, and where possible, sidewalks would be wider
than the standard five feet to accommodate the area’s heavy pedestrian
traffic. Curbing would be granite and signalized intersections would be
outfitted with mast arms.
About 25 people came to MUSC’s Strom Thurmond/Peter Gazes Cardiac
Research Institute for the presentation of the plans, including nearby
property owners, a couple of EMS workers and a visually impaired man
who wanted to make sure planners didn’t forget about pedestrians.
Max Hearn, a Vietnam veteran who lives in Summerville but receives
medical attention at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Hospital, asked that
pedestrian crossings in the area include audible signals.
The captain of Charleston County EMS’ safety office attended the
presentation to learn about possible route modifications the road
improvements or construction would cause.
“If it ultimately improves traffic flow, certainly we’re in favor of
it,” Cliff Parker said. Not only would better traffic flow benefit
patients, it would make EMS drivers’ jobs safer, he said.
Kelly McSweeney, a resident of Cannon, said she favors the proposal
that calls for widening Courtenay to three lanes. The plan is less
likely to make her neighborhood a thoroughfare, she said.
She urged planners to move forward with road improvements, particularly
with MUSC’s expansion plans.
For more information on the project dubbed MUSC Roadway Improvements,
the Web site of Charleston County RoadWise, which implements
transportation improvements funded by the half-cent sales tax. Comments
can be made online or by mail to the project manager, Raymond Hunter,
at Charleston County RoadWise, 4401 Belle Oaks Drive, Suite 105, North
Charleston, SC 29405.
Editor’s note: The article ran Feb. 1 in The Post and Courier and is
reprinted with permission.
Friday, Feb. 8, 2008
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