GREENE COLUMN: Has anyone listened to Six Mile?
Six Mile community residents simply want what others have come to expect: a neighborhood that is not overwhelmed by traffic.
They want a safe place for their children to rollerblade and ride bikes; easy access in and out of their subdivision; and fewer — not more — vehicles traveling a two-lane road that runs through their longtime, peaceful neighborhood in Mount Pleasant.
Residents have asked for an alternate road to serve the new subdivision soon to come in. But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears, they say, and they are frustrated.
Understandable. A desire for less traffic in one’s neighborhood is not unreasonable.
The threat of heavy traffic would have other neighborhoods up in arms, too.
Everyone knows everyone
Six Mile is not your typical, well-planned subdivision with expensive houses. It’s a proud community settled by former slaves, where everyone knows everyone else.
What residents are fighting for is their neighborhood, which already is being used as a cut-through for thousands of vehicles trying to avoid construction and traffic on U.S. Highway 17 and Long Point Road.
Add to that, Town Council just last week approved a 600-unit development at the end of Six Mile Road — without the alternate route they have already asked for.
This could only make things worse.
Mayor Billy Swails said at a council meeting: “We will mitigate the traffic as best we can. We will do everything we possibly can.”
Problem is, his statement came after the Oyster Point development had been approved. Also, a second subdivision already is under construction on the same road.
Residents say no one seems to listen to them. And they might be right.
‘We need a new road’
An afternoon drive through the community last week showed bulldozers, dump trucks and other heavy equipment operating on Six Mile Road.
Flaggers directed a steady flow of motorists through the area, a hodgepodge of new and renovated homes, older ones in need of repair, mobile homes and vacant lots.
Demetrice Gilliard, 31, said residents don’t want to stop development. They just want an alternate road to alleviate additional traffic, she said as she stood outside her parents’ mobile home.
Stay-at-home mom Robin Mc- Kinzie has lived in the community for 25 years. She stood at the school bus stop waiting for her 5-year-old daughter, Rania.
Lots of kids live in the area, and many are out riding their bikes and rollerblading. She is concerned for their safety.
Retired Air Force veteran Bernard Mazyck “can’t get out of his driveway” some mornings because of all the cut-through traffic.
He said some residents fear they may lose some of their property to widen Six Mile to four-lanes to accommodate increased traffic.
They are not done fighting.
Gloria Walker said at the council meeting, “You have won this battle, but you have not won the war.”
Reach City Editor Shirley A. Greene at 937-5555 or email@example.com.