Thursday, June 12, 2014
To the Editor:
After many years of driving on the dangerous, pot-holed laden (with the subsequent bad patching), Tyson Lane, a main artery to Highway 17 in Pawleys Island, it was recently paved by SCDOT.
Every driver using Tyson to go to or from Highway 17 were ecstatic - finally we could drive the road without worrying about causing damage to our vehicle, or worse.
No sooner was the road paved and reopened to traffic, the new Lowes Food store opened and drivers entering north bound Highway 17 from Tyson got a big surprise.
Without warning, without notice, without signage, the center turn lane (i.e. suicide lane) from Tyson onto north bound Highway 17 was gone,and replaced by a left turn only lane into the Lowes parking lot.
Drivers waking up that morning on their daily ride to work or school found themselves facing a harrowing predicament – either they were now in a crisis situation where other cars were traveling in the same lane in the opposite direction or they had to turn into the fast lane of oncoming north bound traffic.
I not only experienced this dilemma first hand, but watched all day as other drivers faced this unexpected, confusing situation.
My reason for writing this letter is not to upbraid the SCDOT for the manner in which they caused this unsafe environment, but to question the reason it was done at all.
With the very vocal and controversial dispute about the need for a median on a section of Highway 17 for safety reasons, how was this road work done without notifying residents.
But the most important question is why?
Is the need to put shoppers in the Lowes parking lot from this particular locale trump the need of neighborhood residents and other numerous drivers to enjoy the safety and ease of using a frequently travelled road?
Today,the residents of Hagley Estates and other numerous drivers don’t have an easy alternative of navigating this unseen change and, in my observation, many people are still using Tyson to make a dangerous turn onto the highway.
One solution seems obvious: In absence of a traffic light at this particular intersection, direct the south bound traffic seeking to enter the Lowes parking lot to use the light at the South Causeway to gain easy entrance into the Lowes shopping center.
There is a left turn arrow at this traffic light and mandating its use would increase the safety of the entire area, and at the same time, allowing a better control of traffic.
Immediate action is needed now before an accident or worse happens.
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