I’m living right now in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina; a neighboring suburb of Charleston. While I am a relatively new resident to the area (got my spiffy South Carolina license) I am not new to the area; I’ve been coming here since the late 1980’s when my grandfather and grandmother moved down here. I’ve stayed here long weeks in the summer for a good number of my former years; I lived here briefly in 2007 just after having been married, and now the wife and I are back here again living with grandpa for a spell. My grandfather has a stately estate in the Snee Farm development community; he loves his Snee Farm and he does well for himself. Snee Farm is pretty big community and one of the caveats of this place is that making a left turn out of this place is a privileged occasion. There are exits on all sides of Snee Farm so it is possible to get out of the community without making a left turn but it’s tough. The exit I usually take is out onto Long Point Road; if you’re coming out onto Long Point Road from the side of Snee Farm we live on, you have to make a left turn. There are three sequential exits onto Long Point Road from Snee Farm; one basically after another. From all these exits though, the left turn is a dangerous one.
The Problem: People in Mt. Pleasant drive fast on Long Point Road and the fact that Long Point Road is something of an ill-conceived, curvy exercise, means that with fast cars traveling in both directions folks need to be careful. The curves on Long Point Road mean that those turning into traffic (particularly left turns) are subject to close calls all the time from oncoming cars and pickup trucks zipping around the corner.
Population Growth: One of the real culprits to the dilemma with Long Point Road and others like it is that the population growth in this area of South Carolina has been explosive. Long Point Road connects Rte 17 and the Interstate 526; with all the commercial traffic popping up in the area, something’s go to be done to alleviate the potential hazards of turning onto Long Point Road. With more people moving here all the time, the potential for problems is only going to get worse.
The Solution: What traffic enforcers, local officials and public interest groups should do to alleviate this problem in Mt. Pleasant is to put in traffic signals. This is probably the least preferable end and it probably won’t be done. People like their secret pathways to skirt around the bigger congestion problems on larger roads, but this is just what needs to be done. There is a possibility that they could widen the roads and add a lane, but that’s not likely either. And yes they could restrict access and yes they could cut down wildlife to increase visibility. The problem with all those fixes is that Long Point Road runs right through a residential district. Long Point Road was probably never intended to have the kind of traffic currently there. That doesn’t change the reality that now something’s got to get done to the insanely fast traffic on Long Point Road before something calamitous happens.