Highway 17 ‘Superstreet’ the wrong turn
Like many people from the Lowcountry, I read and contribute to the letters section of this paper. Today was no different. One writer thanked the designers for their vision and completion of Highway 17 North and Johnny Dodds Boulevard while another writer talked about the proposed “superstreet” that will be implemented some 25 miles to the South on Highway 17 at Main Road.
For almost 25 years, I have traveled past the Main Road and Highway 17 intersection. As Kiawah expanded and Johns Island became south Charleston’s bedroom community, this intersection has gone from busy to an accident waiting to happen every time the traffic light changes.
My wife and I like to count the number of cars the turn signal lets go through before the full green signal is given. It’s somewhere around 25 cars each cycle.
The comments of a Feb. 14 letter on the “superstreet” were: The superstreet design would only cost a “few million to build” and it would be completed in 2014 while the “cloverleaf” as described would cost “multiple millions of dollars” and take 10 years. Surely not, but it’s Charleston you know.
Last Sunday, my wife and I had lunch in Mount Pleasant. While there, we traveled down Johnny Dodds Boulevard. As the writer said, it’s very nice and the “overpass” is the icing on a very solid road project.
My question is very simple: Where are the leaders in South Charleston, and why are they (we) willing to settle for a second-class fix to the Main Road intersection, one of the most important intersections in the Lowcountry?
Flyovers should be built for the north-south traffic and, like in Mount Pleasant, side roads should be constructed to get traffic to and from Johns, Kiawah and Seabrook islands.
I hate to play this card, but maybe our community just isn’t affluent enough to deserve a flyover like Mount Pleasant, or we don’t have the pizazz or influence of a Mayor like Billy Swails or the political clout of East of Cooper.
We’re just Hollywood, Ravenel and Meggett, and we’ve got no clout. So the brains at the Highway Department have decided this is what they are going to give us.
Imagine this: You’re coming from Johns Island and you need to get a prescription filled. You must turn right onto Highway 17, go 500 yards north and blend into the traffic flow. Then you do a U-turn on Highway 17, blend back into traffic and go 1,000 yards heading south. Then do another U-turn and blend back into traffic heading North then go another 500 yards back to the Main Road intersection so you can pull into the only drug store for miles.
If I were Walgreens or any of the businesses at that intersection, I’d lawyer up, because this “superstreet” idea just may put them out of business.
On the bright side, we may get another EMS station.
We’re going to need ambulances close by.Charlie Lybrand
Register of Mesne Conveyance