Institute offers its traffic solution

The Urban Land Institute has delivered to Charleston County its final recommendations for dealing with Maybank Highway traffic through road improvements, and the report calls for adding one lane between the Stono River and River Road on Johns Island.

The ULI report was an attempt by the county to find middle ground between a proposal to widen Maybank Highway to four lanes on Johns Island, laid out by the county's RoadWise program, and the city of Charleston's proposal to instead create a network of new secondary roads to disperse traffic.

If the middle ground between four lanes and two lanes is three, then middle ground is just what the report recommends.

The ULI report suggests adding one extra lane along Maybank Highway from the Stono River to River Road, which is a notorious traffic bottleneck, as well as widening the congested intersection of River Road and Maybank Highway.

Then, ULI recommended adopting the city's secondary road approach beyond River Road. That would mean not widening Maybank Highway to four lanes between River and Bohicket roads.

The county and city will each review the report, and Charleston County Council could consider the next steps at a meeting in April.

The ULI plan does not include cost estimates, and would also require engineering work and environmental studies if council wanted to pursue that approach, according to Kurt Taylor, head of the county's transportation sales tax programs.