Scenic Highway 61

Motorists travel under the scenic Highway 61 tree canopies in Dorchester County. DOT is not considering lowering the speed limit. file/Brad Nettles/Staff

In a meeting with the S.C. Department of Transportation concerning traffic safety on Ashley River Road (S.C. 61), I recommended that the best approach would be to reduce speeds along this two-lane scenic highway.

I am somewhat puzzled to hear that lowering the speed limit is not being considered along with plans to widen and repave a hazardous 6.5-mile section of the highway in Dorchester County.

The Charleston County portion of the highway that passes Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is not included in the road improvement plans.

The DOT says Ashley River Road is one of the most hazardous highways in South Carolina. Because of that, it was selected to receive safety improvements.

Widening the highway, the DOT says, will allow drivers who lose control of their vehicles more time to recover or stop safely.

But can’t the same objective be achieved by simply lowering the speed limit and stepping up traffic enforcement?

This approach seems to be the best alternative to maintain the character of Ashley River Road.

I am in the business of protecting the country’s oldest garden along the same historic, moss-draped highway. As such, I could not support a plan that would lead to the removal of up to 382 trees.

Imagine what the proposed tree removal would do to this beautiful stretch of highway that is a National Scenic Byway and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shouldn’t the preservation of this historic highway be as important as the historic gardens that border it?

TOM JOHNSON

Executive director

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Ashley River Road

Charleston

Hicks has it wrong

It really bothers me that Brian Hicks confused some facts in his Oct. 13 column.

He stated that the group Save Shem Creek is “a bunch of longtime residents opposed to development and not real happy about all the new people moving in,” who want the town “back the way it was 25 years ago.”

He is mistaken. Many board members are relative newcomers. I am one.

SSC appreciates much of what growth brings. We aren’t opposed to development per se. We are for well-managed development.

We opposed the parking garage because it is too large, out of keeping with the architecture in the area, and because it did not provide more parking spaces than were already available in the gravel lot.

Mr. Hicks has never called SSC to inquire about our positions on issues.

His writing style contributes to the lack of civil discourse in our community. He blames social media, yet his negativity is published in The Post and Courier.

Mr. Hicks could have a positive impact on our community by engaging in respectful communication and by approaching controversy with curiosity rather than judgment.

SSC is interested in preserving the character of our town and its quality of life. We are not interested in an “us against them” mentality.

MARTIE ADAMS

Royall Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Clean ditches

It never ceases to amaze me how government entities can move so quickly on the wrong things. For instance, cutting down the trees along Ashley River Road.

Along Long Point Road near U.S. Highway 17, we need our drainage ditches cleared out.

I called three or four times more than two years ago and was assured by a woman who finally answered the phone that the DOT would get back to me — within a year’s time.

“They are really slow” is what the nice lady said.

Moral of the story? Don’t expect the DOT to be listening.

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STEVEN WIRSZYLA

Sea Oats Court

Mount Pleasant

Seek qualities

As we approach the 2020 presidential election, I ask that we all consider the qualities we want in our president.

With that in mind, let’s elect a leader who:

• Cares as much about all citizens as he/she does about his/her personal interests.

• Surrounds himself/herself with people who can provide accurate information and assessments on which to base decisions.

• Has an ability to analyze information, give facts and opinions their proper weight and make sound, thoughtful decisions.

• Is willing to do the hard work of building relationships with national and world leaders whether they agree or disagree with him/her.

• Thinks win-win and is willing to do the hard work of building consensus among elected leaders and the American people.

I am sure that there are

many other qualities that

we will want to consider, but these should be a good start.

FRANK BARNES

Kentwood Circle

Charleston