New traffic signals are being installed all over the peninsula. Many are being placed on very high poles anchored at street corners with long arms extending over the street. At some intersections, such as King and Calhoun streets and Meeting and Calhoun streets, they seem to be a good idea.
The problem is one size does not fit all.
These towers are also being put up on corners like King and George streets, where they are way out of proportion. The footprint required to support them is large and creates a blind spot for pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles. The current lights are mounted on the corners where motorists can keep an eye on the busy crosswalks but the new lights are mounted high and over the middle of the street requiring drivers to look up. If safety is the issue then this is a dangerous mistake.
These towers are also out of proportion on Charleston’s narrow streets and they are aesthetically wrong. I can’t imagine seeing them at Meeting and Broad streets blocking the view of St. Michael’s steeple and City Hall or in front of the Old Exchange Building at Broad and East Bay streets.
It is my understanding that this has been implemented by state government. Are the Board of Architectural Review and the City of Charleston powerless over the state, or is this one more thing that Charleston residents are supposed to just get used to?