I enjoyed reading Robert Behre’s article on Mount Pleasant’s efforts to create people-friendly roads along Coleman and Ben Sawyer boulevards. However, my world in Mount Pleasant is much different.
I am referring to the widening along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, or should I say the new Interstate 17, replete with guardrails, New Jersey barriers, overpasses and entrance/exit ramps.
Of course, there will be nice landscaping, but trees and shrubs can go only so far to hide an overpass.
Fortunately, the town decided not to install one of those concrete monstrosities at Houston Northcutt. Despite traffic surveys indicating that this road had the highest traffic counts, town officials wisely felt an overpass would not serve as a pleasant gateway from the Ravenel Bridge.
Unfortunately, Bowman Road did not have the same fate, but we are seeing some benefits with the opening of the Bowman Road overpass to traffic.
The police are now ready with radar to keep the speeders in check as they barrel back down to Earth from their elevated ride.
Maybe those tickets will help to pay for this white elephant.
We are also seeing new elevated signage and tree removal to improve visibility for businesses in the overpasses shadow.
Not only do we get an overpass, the town is finally turning Bowman Road into a five-lane highway as envisioned in plans to make it a commercial corridor.
This is good for the residents who live along its path, for their homes have become worthless as such, with some doorsteps only 30 feet from the new pavement.
Now they have the option of selling to a commercial developer and seeking a more people-friendly place to live.
While Mount Pleasant is making strides in creating a more vibrant Coleman Boulevard, it has destroyed the Bowman/Johnnie Dodds area.
The overpass is a monument to those sacrifices made by others so commuters can get home a few minutes sooner.
It is a shame that in 10 years, continued development in the town’s outer fringes will make the new Johnnie Dodds Boulevard a source of people’s traffic complaints once again.
Marsh Court Lane