SCDOT completes traffic study on ‘dangerous’ stretch of road in Georgetown

Updated: Sep. 26, 2019 at 4:38 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) completed a traffic study after Live5News reported on safety concerns about a stretch of road in Georgetown.

As part of our What’s Driving You Crazy series, viewer Phillip Theard, reached out after witnessing several bad crashes along Church Street.

“It’s like a drag strip, ready set go and they shoot off heading down Highway 17. In this area, we would really like to see it regulated to maybe 25 miles per hour so that way it’s a little safer,” Theard said. "We have 18-wheelers barreling through here and most people don’t go the speed limit they should.”

The traffic study was done on Church Street, also known as US-17, at the intersections of St. James Street and Queen Street. The study consisted of analyzing the accident history, traffic counts and a field review.

During the field review, it was noted that trimming limbs and vegetation at the intersection would help improve sight distance and safety. This is supposed to be coordinated with the city of Georgetown.

SCDOT said reducing the current 35 mile per hour speed limit is not recommended because the road is an urban arterial, meaning one of the primary functions is to move large volumes of traffic.

“A reduction to this speed would be significantly detrimental to the operation of the roadway,” resident maintenance engineer at SCDOT, Timmy Britt, said. He also mentioned the issue of speeding is most effectively controlled by law enforcement.

A stop-and-go traffic signal is not recommended by SCDOT at the intersection because, though they say traffic volumes are high, a signal would not operate efficiently and there would often by congestion and delays.

The report also said the accident history did not indicate a pattern of crashes that would be improved by a traffic signal. This is because most of the crashes occurring at the intersection were rear-end crashes, which is a type that often increases with the installation of a traffic signal.

You can tell us about What’s Driving You Crazy on Lowcountry roads by filling out our form: here.

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