Local officials weigh in on Kings Grant cut-through traffic issues; traffic light change implemented

Dorchester County News

People in the Kings Grant subdivision are continuing to look for solutions and are reaching out for help on cut-through traffic problems that the neighborhood is facing. Now, more local officials are offering up possible solutions.

“We’ve had a lot of good suggestions,” said resident Myron Johnson. “One was to install more stop signs within the neighborhood to slow the traffic down.”

For years, the subdivision has dealt with drivers coming off of Dorchester Road and cutting through neighborhood streets during rush hour when traffic volume gets high in the area.

Many are concerned about the cut-through drivers speeding through Kings Grant and causing backups on local streets.

One resident reached out to their state senator, Sandy Senn. She then worked with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to identify one solution that might help with a small part of the problem. DOT officials adjusted the timing of a stoplight on Dorchester Road and Wescott Boulevard to improve backup issues.

“What we knew was the corridor was filling up too fast and once DOT checked it, sure enough, the turn light needed to be left on a few seconds longer and hopefully that alleviated the issue,” said Senator Senn.

County Councilman Larry Hargett, who has lived in Kings Grant for 39 years, said another solution is enforcing a county ordinance that prohibits thru traffic between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. He said he has met with Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight several times about the problem.

“The sheriff has said its an ordinance that is unenforceable,” said Councilman Hargett. “But I disagree with him on that. It is a law. It’s an ordinance passed by county council,, on a county road and so if he needs more officers then he should come to us for more money… I don’t recall him ticketing even one person in this subdivision.”

Sheriff Knight told News 2 on Tuesday that he has requested additional deputies from the county for the upcoming 2019-2020 budget year but as of right now, he has not received any of them.

“I asked for eight deputies, here’s what I got on the 29th, and and as of the 29th, zero has been approved,” said the sheriff. “I won’t get it. If I get one or two, I’ll be lucky.”

The budget will not be finalized until county council approves three readings of the budget by the July 1 deadline.

He maintains that the law is not enforceable and is not worth his deputies’ time.

“Am I going to stop every car that rides through, ask them where they are going and pick up the phone to see if they go where they say they’re going?” said Sheriff Knight. “It’s not enforceable. It is an ordinance but it’s more trouble than it’s worth trying to enforce… If I stay in there every other day, it’s a band-aid. It’s not going to solve their problem.”

He said more stop signs, speed humps and changing some the entrances to exit only could help deter cut-through traffic.

“Some residents in the HOA would like to see the entrances restricted. Some residents that live on those streets are a little upset about the thought that it would involve closing their street,” said Johnson.

Senator Senn also suggested adding in islands near neighborhood entrances on Dorchester Road. She said that change would require approval from a majority of the neighborhood’s HOA members.

Johnson said he knows that there are subdivisions all across the county and state that are also facing cut-through traffic problems and acknowledges that implementing solutions will take time.

“Overall, I think everyone of the departments from the local to the state officials to the highway department need to get involved and put their heads together and make a decision. It may not be the best decision for everyone but it will be the best decision for us as a whole community.”

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