Traffic signals could relieve congestion in Mt. Pleasant

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Relief may be coming to drivers in Mt. Pleasant.

"Rush hour is pretty bad.  I'm usually sitting in traffic, can't go anywhere, usually got to take a back road," Scott Dolan, of Mt. Pleasant, said.

Dolan said he spends a lot of time each day either sitting in traffic on Highway 17 North or figuring out how to get around it.

That's also the frustration of Cameron O'Banion, who drives to Mt. Pleasant from her home downtown.

"It takes me 16 to 20 minutes when there isn't any traffic, but it's probably close to 40 to 45 when there is traffic," O'Banion said. "So anything to relieve that would be awesome."

Drivers hope that relief will come from new high-tech traffic signals.

Town Council voted to buy eight new ones. There are some already installed between Wando Crossing and the Isle of Palms Connector on Highway 17. Town leaders said drivers don't hit a standstill in traffic in the area where the lights are already in place.

"Time is precious, so anything that would help to relieve that traffic would be awesome," O'Banion said.

The difference between the new signals and the old ones is that the high-tech ones aren't on a timer. Experts said the signals use a computer to gauge traffic flow, second by second, and adjust the lights accordingly. They said not only do these new lights cut down on wait times while drivers are stopped at traffic signals, but they also reduce fuel consumption.

The new lights are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

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