I live on Johns Island just 14 miles from my place of employment in Charleston. I was born on the island and love living here. I moved back to Johns Island to get away from crowded conditions and traffic.
Commuting, up until eight years ago, was never a problem. Having 30 minutes or less for contemplation was somewhat enjoyable. Now the 14 miles takes me 45 minutes to an hour, providing there is no mayhem.
I have come to the conclusion that meeting about the traffic problems is a waste of time.
Before the home-building frenzy, a contractor said that after all these hundreds of homes are built, transportation officials will see the need to widen or do something with the roads. It didn’t make sense then, and here we are with the problem.
Remember the I-526 plan? It is the equivalent to Alaska’s “highway to nowhere.”
Our problem is infrastructure. We have a bottleneck at Highway 17 and Main Road and the Maybank connector from James Island. Adding a third (526) bottleneck will add options but not solutions.
The plans to add a pitchfork road from Maybank Highway to River Road and widen Maybank Highway were a great idea, but instead we got bicycle lanes. That will not help during a mandatory evacuation. What if Main Road had four lanes from Bees Ferry to River Road? Could you imagine getting off or onto the island?
Getting home and to work under “normal” circumstances has not been easy. I dread what it would be like in an emergency evacuation. It could be another Katrina disaster.
I know one thing for sure — I will not live to complain about it. I learned a valuable lesson from the Floyd evacuation: Take your chances with the storm.
The population of Johns Island has almost doubled since then. You cannot imagine what would happen if we had to evacuate today. You could not imagine.
Back Pen Road