Safety improvements moving forward for Avondale intersection

Safety improvements moving forward for Avondale intersection

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The intersection of Savannah Highway and Magnolia Road will see some safety improvements in the coming months. Since 2009, five people have been struck and hurt at the Avondale crossing, the most recent accident last month.

About 5300 vehicles drive through the Avondale intersection daily, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

"The area has grown a ton, which has also brought a lot of traffic, parking issues, a lot of pedestrians," says Christian Condon, the manager of Triangle Char & Bar.

The crossing of Savannah Highway and Magnolia Road is in the heart of Avondale surrounded by popular bars, restaurants and shops, but moving from one to the other isn't easy and can be dangerous.

Improvements, which will include a median, a turn lane and new pedestrian signals, are slated to be in place by November. According to the Charleston Police Department, none of the five accidents since 2009 were fatal, and investigators say the pedestrians were either crossing against the signal or not using the crosswalk. All of the collisions happened between 10 p.m. and 1:30 in the morning.

"Certainly having five collisions at an intersection is something we all need to look at, and there always should be some safety improvements if there are collisions," explains Sergeant Matt Wojslawowicz.

Officials say while some changes are a must, they say people who are walking need to be patient and use the crosswalk.

"They do have the responsibility to make sure they are cautious when entering an intersection, to make sure they do so with the legal right when they have the pedestrian signal," says Wojslawowicz.

A DOT grant is funding the improvements, which will cost $356,000.