MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Members with the Community Action Group for Encouragement, that includes the Seven Mile and Phillips communities say they have spent years on the plan they proposed to the Charleston County Council.
Since 2019, members with the group CAGE have conducted surveys and gathered data to modify changes to save settlement communities off of Highway 41. Some people in the community feel the plans in place, won’t work.
“I’ve seen the traffic over the years and with their plan it does nothing to reduce traffic on Highway 17. All it does is continue to bring in traffic,” says George Freeman, Director of Community Activities for CAGE.
Freeman says the county’s current plan for the project would widen portions of Highway 41 to four lanes, create a two-lane parkway around Park West, adding lanes to Highway 17, impacting traffic and surrounding communities.
“This will cause a bottleneck because you have four lanes going into two lanes and that would just not work, especially during a evacuation route,” he says.
Freeman says his proposed modifications would reduce traffic of one option the county had considered. This plan would allow traffic to continue over Highway 17 with an overpass over Oakland Plantation.
“That traffic would be diverted around the Phillip’s and the Seven-Mile community, creating a loop that will take traffic around the community and make it even better for the other citizens to get around,” Freeman says.
Freeman says he wants his proposal to be recognized as a new solution to stop the destruction of the settlement communities to help the future of traffic and development in the area.
“We cannot sit around any longer and allow our local governments to just continue to only use the African American community as the solution of solving traffic in the area,” he says.
Charleston County Council is expected to discuss and potentially vote on the proposal when they meet at the end of the month. This plan would cost the county $148 million.