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First meeting for new Folly Road project - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

First meeting for new Folly Road project

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) -

Community members got their first chance to sound off on a new plan to fix Folly Road on Thursday night.

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester County Council of Governments is teaming up with other leaders around the area to spend about a $500,000 of taxpayer money to come up with a new design to make it better.

“We have an opportunity on this really important piece of the canvas that is the Lowcountry to draw something together that make thing better rather than worse," Victor Dover, one of the consultants said.

Forest McKenzie has lived on James Island his whole life.

"When I was younger it was much more rural,” McKenzie said of Folly Road. “It's become incredibly congested over the last 50 years and I'm happy to see that there's some plans to finally improve it."

Thursday was the first public meeting for a project that will try to improve traffic and the quality of life along Folly Road.

Representatives with a consulting firm gave different ideas like slowing down speeds adding more bike lanes, and making it more enjoyable for people not using cars.

"If they use some of the traffic calming techniques and create space for folks to walk and ride bikes and improve some of the storefront areas and allow for folks to move about safely, I think it will improve," McKenzie said.

The consultants also asked people to describe what they hope the road is like in the future.

"I thought about a river. Just free-flowing. Not necessarily fast, just steady."

It's a vision for the future that planners and the community will now work on making a reality.

There's another hands-on session on May 7 and many more opportunities for the public to voice their opinion on plans for Folly Road.

Designers hope for a first draft sometime in late summer.

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