Support dwindles for replacing stop sign with two roundabouts at James Island intersection

VIDEO: Support dwindles for replacing stop sign with two roundabouts at James Island intersection

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A well-known James Island intersection is back in the spotlight as Charleston County officials look at further developing two plans for it.

Right now, the intersection of Central Park Road and Riverland Drive only has one stop sign for drivers headed toward Riverland from Central Park, but both plans on the table would change that.

Alternative one would add a traffic light to the intersection, which would cost an estimated $4.1 million. Alternative three would add two roundabouts. They would be joined together with a grass median, instead of a traffic light, which would cost $4.6 million.

On Thursday night, officials at the county’s department of transportation development will be requesting approval to expand development of both plans from 10 percent to 30 percent. The request will be looked at by the Charleston County finance committee at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

If approved, it would help the department get significantly more details on both options. Some of the project unknowns that would be cleared up include getting the drainage design more well defined and creating a better coordination effort with utility companies. This phase of the project would cost $65,000.

A majority of support from a public comment period that ended last month is for the two roundabouts. Out of the 491 comments made, this plan got 53 percent support. The traffic light option came in second with 43 percent, while 4 percent chose “no build.”

These are significantly different from the first public comment period that ended last year. In 2018, 75 percent of the 307 respondents wanted the two roundabouts, while only 14 percent voted in favor of the traffic light.

As for the most important factors for folks, the most recent public comment period showed 47 percent of respondents ranked improved safety as their number one. Improved traffic flow, minimized traffic property impacts, and anti-traffic light came in a distant second, third, and fourth respectively.

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