James Island, Charleston County Parks to fund Festival of Lights traffic study

VIDEO: James Island, Charleston County Parks to fund Festival of Lights traffic study

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The town of James Island is partnering with the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission to fund a traffic study of the Holiday Festival of Lights.

Every year the popular attraction brings hundreds of people on the island while also creating congestion for people who live in the area.

Some people have concerns traffic may be worse this year since people will have to stay in their cars due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Carol Lingard lives near the James Island County Park and says traffic is always backed up starting around Thanksgiving.

“It’s a lot of traffic. It’s really a lot of traffic as far back as you can see,” she said. " I stay maybe 2,000 feet from the lights, and it takes a good 20 to 30 minutes to get to the lights.”

During Thursday’s town council meeting, council members approved funds for a portion of a traffic study.

The town would manage a contract with Stantec, the company that will be conducting the study.

The total cost of the study is $9,500, with the town funding one-third of the cost. The remaining two-thirds will be paid by the CCPRC and possibly the city of Charleston.

“We were approached by the parks commission and asked us to go in with them on this study,” Councilman Troy Mullinax said. “It’s basically going to be up to five intersections. We’re going to be doing turning studies during the times of 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., peak times for the park.”

The goal of the study is to collect data and make recommendations for traffic improvements.

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