Lower speed limit could be ahead for Folly Road

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Those who travel on a major thoroughfare on James Island could soon see lower speed limits.

Officials with multiple agencies have backed a proposal to make the speed limit from the James Island Connector to Folly Beach 35 miles per hour.

Some who live on James Island say with the speed comes an increased risk of accidents.

According to Charleston Police spokesperson Charles Francis, there have been 194 accidents and hit and runs on Folly Road from April 1 of 2017 and April 1 of 2018. This number excludes those that occurred in the parking lots adjacent to Folly Road.

"They come from the beach and they just vroom," Kayla Williams said. "I just witnessed a wreck there like two weeks ago."

Williams said seeing an accident on Folly Road is almost a new normal.

"A car was coming around the curve and the car in the median thought he could turn and beat the speed and they T-boned right there," she said.

Others who live on the island, like Gail McDowell, say speed isn't the issue. They blame distractions instead.

"They don't look at what they're doing," she said. "They're on the phone and they just run into people in the back – that's what I think."

Whatever the reason for the wrecks, officials are working to make Folly Road safer, which is why they propose lowering the speed limit to 35 miles per hour from the James Island connector to Folly Beach.

"I do think the slower speed limit would lower the amount of wrecks," Williams said.

But some are worried the slower speed will cause more traffic.

"I think it would back up the traffic even more than what it is," McDowell said.

Officials say a slower speed will actually improve efficiency.

The proposal for the lower speed has to be sent to state transportation officials who will ultimately make the decision whether to change the speed limit.

As of right now, there is no word on how long that could take.

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