How many times have you found yourself stuck in a line of cars behind someone turning left onto Main from Curtis St. and thought, “Why can’t we have a left turn lane and signal at this intersection?!?” If you’re like many people, it’s happened quite a lot. Everyone who travels through downtown knows what a traffic jam is created by people turning left. And people in the surrounding neighborhoods know (and have complained) about how often people cut through to avoid that intersection and the jam.
At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, Council voted in favor of a proposal that would provide a solution: left turn lanes and signals at the Curtis/Main intersection. The proposal does eliminate some on street parking (4 spaces on one side of Curtis and 8 on the other) to provide the space required to create the turn lanes.
The city is working together with SCDOT and the County Transportation Committee to secure funding for the project. We originally talked about this proposal at the June Committee of the Whole Meeting and since that time the City Administrator has met with representatives from DOT and the County and has solicited input and feedback from local small business owners downtown.
The loss of on street parking is a concern to some business owners and to Council. However, I feel like the loss of parking is outweighed by the benefit of better traffic flow through town. The rest of Council seems to be in agreement.
Also, it is notable that we have public parking at City Hall that is underutilized for the businesses on the east side of Curtis. And the City Administrator is currently in discussions with the Verdons about purchasing property for additional downtown public parking (remember that Verdin Veterinary has moved and been renamed).
This proposal for turn lanes and signals at the Curtis St. intersection will now come before Council for a final vote at the next Business Meeting. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to our City Administrator or anyone on Council.