A decades-old proposal for a Johns Island parkway that proponents said will improve traffic flow and lead to safer travel was put on a back burner today at a meeting of the Charleston County Council Finance Committee.

Although the parkway idea stalled, the issue isn't dead because it goes to County Council next week.

"Nothing is final until Tuesday," said county Deputy Administrator Kurt Taylor.

However, approval of the parkway on Tuesday would require five Council members to change their vote. Council voted 8-0 to seek $5 million for various safety improvements on island roads. Council member Paul Thurmond left the meeting before the vote.

The final vote reflected the position of Councilman Dickie Schweers, who from the outset of a long discussion on the issue argued in favor of seeking the $5 million for improvements to island intersections. "I see very few congested roads on Johns Island. You don't see significant congestion," Schweers said.

In contrast, Thurmond favored what he described as a more proactive plan to address future traffic congestion. Thurmond said that the potential effect of the cross-island parkway was being exaggerated by opponents. Council has an obligation to ensure safe passage for island motorists, he said.

Speaking to Schweers, Thurmond said, "Is it your opinion that we don't do anything until it is absolutely awful?" Schweers responded, "No, it is not."

Read more in tomorrow's editions of The Post and Courier