Median plan ignores eyesight, physicality

  • Wednesday, June 4, 2014

To the Editor:

There has been a great deal of public discussion concerning the design of the so-called Median Section of Highway 17 fronting the Post Office/Fresh Market area.

However, all the verbiage seems to have overlooked two important factors – night visibility and physical limitations of drivers in making 180- degree “U” turns.

The literature on human sight notes that less than one-third of Homo sapiens has 20/20 vision.

Or, stated differently, on average, two out of three people cannot see perfectly. Add the effects of a busy roadway, frequent visitors, night driving on reaction times and it seems clear that street lighting becomes a priority such as the highway at the Willbrook traffic signal.

Add the no left turns necessitating “U” turns is to invite accidents.

Most professionals in physical therapy and chiropractic know a significant segment of the population, middle aged and empty nesters, have difficulty or simply cannot adequately turn their heads.

They simply cannot see over their shoulder. Most are accustomed to turning their bodies, but strapped into an automobile seat with a headrest blocking part of the view limits this movement.

Given the fact the Waccamaw Neck has significant visitor count and retiree population, this is most important to our citizens.

When on considers both the need to illuminate five lanes of roadway and the physical limits of our bodies, we are subjecting ourselves to a purposely designed hazard.

From my attempts to understand the new design for Highway 17 at Pawleys, I believe our County Council should take the time to consider alternatives especially as they relate to night lighting and the “U” turns.

E.V. Archambeau M.D.

Pawleys Island

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