Fair traffic troubling for neighbors

Published: Nov. 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM EST
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LADSON, SC (WCSC) - The Coastal Carolina Fair wrapped up this weekend and while more than 200,000 fairgoers had a great time, many took to social media to complain about the traffic.

Thousands of cars flooded Ladson and traffic was backed up down Interstate 26.

Neighbors who experienced the headache want the crowds handled differently next year.

"It's getting ridiculous," said Rebecca Weyburn. "I was trapped, I was trapped in my neighborhood."

Weyburn lives off College Park Road right down the street from the fairgrounds in Ladson. She said traffic was in a standstill all weekend and she's relieved it's gone.

"It's a great way to have fun but I don't look forward to it anymore, because of the traffic," said Weyburn.

Over 51,000 people visited the fair on Saturday alone. Social media was flooded with fairgoers stuck in traffic. Cars were backed up on Interstate 26 and Highway 17A.

'It's bumper to bumper," said Sandy Dandridge. 'The intersection started locking down."

Dandridge is a barber at Buddy's Barbershop at the intersection of College Park Road and Highway 78.

"It just gets packed out there, so getting in and out of our parking lot is next to impossible," said Dandridge.

Dandridge says the fair traffic keeps customers away.

"It shuts us down," said Dandridge. "When the fair comes about 3 o'clock in the afternoon nobody wants to come to Ladson."

Weyburn, who is a mother of two young children, worries the traffic is not only a headache, but a hazard.

"It's just really becoming a safety issue now, you know i was blocked in my neighborhood basically," said Weyburn. "If one of my children were to get hurt there'd be no way for me to even get them to the hospital."

A Highway Patrol spokesperson said if an emergency were to happen, troopers would clear a path on the side of the road for vehicles to get through.

Troopers direct the traffic as best they can but when the 10,000 parking spots at the fairgrounds fill up, they have no choice but to turn people around.

The neighbors want to see something done differently next year.

"Definitely they need to put in some kind of an emergency lane, down College Park Road, all the way to down 78," said Weyburn.

'The shuttle seems to work really well out at Flowertown every year, so that might be a good alternative just to get people to the fair and in and out," said Dandridge.

Fair official Joe Bolchez released this statement to Live 5 about the traffic:

"The largest obstacle facing the growth of the fair is the interstate system. It is our feeling that when you reach the fairgrounds, our parking people have a handle on the efficient and timely parking of our fair patrons."

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