City of Charleston’s plans to combat traffic concerns for proposed development
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A million-dollar infrastructure investment could change traffic at the area of River Road and Maybank Highway on Johns Island, but some just don’t believe it.
The city of Charleston’s technical review committee will review 90 affordable housing units that will go behind the Food Lion at this intersection.
“With all the construction, new homes, new apartments, commercial - it’s brought a whole lot of traffic and the roads haven’t really expanded or improved to accommodate it,” Johns Island resident Rich Thomas said.
Thomas has lived here for about 15 years, and he says the more he has seen the island grow, the more traffic issues have come along with it.
“There’s absolutely no plan that I’m aware of to do anything about the roads and the traffic in that area,” Thomas said.
But the City of Charleston says there is a plan of investing $1 million to make sure the infrastructure is adequate in this area.
“When we’re buying a property, or acquiring a property, we’re already contemplating infrastructure, stormwater, to make sure that the property can accommodate in all of those categories the construction of housing,” Geona Shaw Johnson, director of the Department of Housing and Community Development for the City of Charleston, said.
Johnson says those that make 20% to 80% of the area’s median income will qualify to live in the affordable housing units and rent would begin at about $1,300 a month based on income.
“Housing that will provide opportunities for our teachers, our cashiers at our grocery stores,” Johnson said. “Folks need housing and this will provide the opportunity that does not exist currently.”
Johnson says the community will be informed of any traffic changes before construction begins. Thomas says it can’t just stop there.
“They need to step back from approving all these developments until there’s comprehensive transportation, infrastructure considered, funded and in place,” Thomas said.
Once the 90 rental units get full approval, the city says they will then seek to approve 40 additional affordable homes in this area. The million-dollar infrastructure investment will not happen until right before construction starts at the end of 2024.
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