Two-lane roundabout proposal to be considered for Five Points intersection; neighbors raise concerns

Dorchester County News

Plans for a two-lane roundabout project at the Five Points intersection in Summerville are likely to be presented to town council next month but some nearby neighbors are concerned about the proposed project.

Town Engineer and Director of Public Works Russ Cornette told News 2 on Tuesday that the roundabout project is being considered to improve safety and traffic flow at the congested intersection, where East and West Carolina Avenue, Tupper Lane and South Main Street meet.

“The afternoon peak-hour [at the intersection] is a level service F, it’s just congested. The morning peak hour is level service E, which is not much better,” said Cornette.

Reducing accidents is also a goal of the project. In the past five years there have been 60 accidents at the intersection.

“Nine [of those accidents] have resulted in injuries,” said Cornette.

Some neighbor that live near the intersection say they are opposed to installing a roundabout. Brian Goldsberry reached out to News 2 after he heard about the proposed plans for the intersection project.

“”A roundabout is going to cause just a constant flow of traffic that will make it harder, more difficult to get out of our own driveways,” said Goldsberry.

Other concerns for nearby residents include the fact that the town would have to acquire some of their property to build the roundabout and a potential increase in speeds on the roads around the intersection, without traffic lights there.

“The speed at which people travel may increase, trying to beat other within the roundabout. We like the fact that people have to stop for red lights,” said Goldsberry.

According to Cornette, building a roundabout at the intersection should be safer for drivers. At a roundabout, there are eight points of conflict. At a traditional four-way intersection, there are typically 32 points of conflict. He said that the Five Points intersection has even more points of conflict because it is a five-way intersection.

Plans for the roundabout require town council and South Carolina Department of Transportation approval before it can begin.

If plans for the roundabout are approved, public meetings will be held for residents to raise concerns and ask questions, and construction would likely begin in 2020 and be complete in late 2020 or 2021.

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