SCDOT proposed changes to Johns Island intersection - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

SCDOT proposed changes to Johns Island intersection met with resistance

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SCDOT proposes a big change for the intersection of US-17 and Main Road on Johns Island. SCDOT proposes a big change for the intersection of US-17 and Main Road on Johns Island.

The intersection of US-17 and Main Road on Johns Island is about to get a major revamp. On Tuesday night the South Carolina Department of Transportation held a public information meeting to showcase their proposed fix to the dangerous intersection.

But their proposed "superstreet" got little fanfare from the crowd of over 100. "From what I see they are creating a problem trying to solve a problem," says resident Sam Hiott.

The superstreet solution would completely change the way traffic moves at the intersection of US-17 and Main Road. Instead of the typical four way light, all turns would go right. That means if you are driving on Main Road and want to continue on Main Road through the intersection of US-17, you'd actually have to make a right, then a U-turn, and then a right again to get back on Main Road. Hiott says, "This is going to cause a major confusion to people who don't know where they are going out there anyway."

But Joey Riddle, an engineer with the SCDOT Safety Office says while it might look confusing, this design is actually safer because it minimizes traffic routes. "It reduces a lot of the conflict points. Left turns at a signal are highly dangerous, because it is a high impact angle type crash. So now we are asking people to take a safer right turn. Even though the travel length is a little bit longer, the wait of that vehicle is actually cut in half."

"This is a design that we are anticipating questions on. We realize it is something new, it is not a traditional signal, but again we went into this with a lot of research and so we are extremely confident that it will work."

Residents are not so confident however, writing long replies on the provided comment sheets. "I think they got their head in the air all the way on this one," says Hiott.

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