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Jerseyman4

Daily congestion along US 17 in Mount Pleasant

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What should be done to improve the mobility along US 17? Should there be strict development northeast of I-526? Should some/all major intersections be converted to grade seperation and/or interchanges? Two lane Roundabouts? Bus stops? Additional lanes? What do you all think?

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Synchronizing all the red lights along 17 would be a good start. It seems like no matter what the traffic situation is like, you will stop at more than half of those red lights. Other than widening the road, there's not much else that would help other than a similarly designed alternative road that would bypass much of the mount pleasant area. I just don't think that roundabouts move enough traffic to make the situation any better. There's just too many people that move through mount pleasant to have a single highway running through the area.

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Currently there are projects studies going on that will determine the correct route that Mount Pleasant should take with alleviating the conjestion along highway 17 north. There is objection to the proposal of flyovers at major intersections. Those oppose to this are mainly business owners who are trying to protect their business interests. They claim that the flyover plan would drive traffic away from their places of business. Some others claim that the aesthetics of such a plan would not work in Mount Pleasant and the flyover plan would just be "ugly". The plan the opposition proposes is a roundabout-boulevard scheme. The downfall in this is that the roundabout, though it may look aesthetically pleasing, will not function as well. You are taking cars from an eight lane bridge (4 lanes in either direction) and trying to move them through a highly travelled corridor. Roundabouts will only slow the traffic and make travel time worse. In the business owners mind, this is a wonderful plan because it slows the traffic long enough for their shops to be visible. Mount Pleasant town officials have sought the flyover plan from the beginning. The problem with the design of highway 17 north or Johnnie Dodds Boulevard is that not only the town has to comment but also the county, state and federal government as well. Highway 17 is a US highway. An alternative to the congestion would be to create another route from Mount Pleasant to Summerville. Mayor Harry Hallman had proposed such a aplane about 2 years ago. The problem stemming from this proposal would be right-of-ways in Berkeley County. A bypass could start in Mount Pleasant just north of the proposed Carolina Park. The bypass could then make its way through Berkeley County ending at I-26 north of Summerville.

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Of course the biggest problem is unchecked destructive development that continues to be approved in this part of Charleston. It's no secret by now that allowing sprawl leads to exactly the problems that you see on Hwy 17. Its unfortunate that city leaders continue to bend over to the property owners and developers by continuing to approve any project that is proposed to be built.

They need to execute a motorium on all new development until they have time to put together a zoning plan that directs growth in a more manageable manner. This has worked in the Charlotte area in the surrounding towns to effectively slowdown and even stop sprawling development.

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The town of Mount Pleasant has a building permit limit in place. The problem now lies in the hands of the county, which I agree needs to impose these same types of limitations on development. One of the problems with Mount Pleasant is that they want the 'town' feel and in order to achieve that they are willing to sprawl. Yet at the same time they don't care for plans to alleviate congestion caused by this sprawl. Like you say Smart Growth is whats needed.

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Of course the biggest problem is unchecked destructive development that continues to be approved in this part of Charleston.  It's no secret by now that allowing sprawl leads to exactly the problems that you see on Hwy 17.  Its unfortunate that city leaders continue to bend over to the property owners and developers by continuing to approve any project that is proposed to be built.

They need to execute a motorium on all new development until they have time to put together a zoning plan that directs growth in a more manageable manner.  This has worked in the Charlotte area in the surrounding towns to effectively slowdown and even stop sprawling development.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

the fact of the matter is people want to live in Mt P. The town is not "allowing" unchecked development. In fact, it is defending itself in court for its 3 yr old residential permit cap. These two factors have pushed property values in Mt P sky high and soon enough, price will moderate developement of that area (if it hasn't already).

As for the thoroughfare of Hwy 17, I think the boulevard approach (sans roundabouts) could be effective if implemented correctly. A virtual freeway through that area would not be the right approach IMO.

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Mount Pleasant mayor Harry Hallman said he wants to ask the state to match $5 million from the town to widen U.S. Highway 17 from the Isle of Palms Connector to S.C. Highway 41. U.S. 17 north of the IOP Connector is plagued with traffic bottlenecks, and safety is an issue, he said. A town councilwoman expressed concern over how the proposed widening would affect the sweetgrass basket stands, as a stretch of U.S. 17 was recently preliminarily designated a Sweetgrass Basket Overlay District.

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Unfortunately, the Mt. Pleasant folks are suffering now for what they allowed and essentially created over the years. If you don't like the traffic, then don't live east of the Cooper, it's as simple as that.

Developers, greedy land owners, and inept government are to blame. IMO, Mt. Pleasant is now the textbook case of how NOT to grow--"Dumb Growth".

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Yes, I've tried to find sympathy but it's not forthcoming. I choose to live in a rural area at least 30 minutes from any shopping and major employers but I wouldn't expect any sympathy for having to drive so far nor do I complain about it. If you choose to live away from the central city than accept the consequences and quite whining about traffic and travel time.

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Yes, I've tried to find sympathy but it's not forthcoming. I choose to live in a rural area at least 30 minutes from any shopping and major employers but I wouldn't expect any sympathy for having to drive so far nor do I complain about it. If you choose to live away from the central city than accept the consequences and quite whining about traffic and travel time.

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It appears cheaper at anyrate. I value my time way to much to spend it sitting in traffic for hours each day commuting.

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Exactly! Plus, I don't want to pay increased taxes just so stressed-out soccer moms can get to their salon treatments 60 seconds faster.

People need to remember: living in sprawl-ville (Mt. P., Goose Creek, Summerville, etc.) is cheaper, but comes with a price. If you choose cheap, you get what you pay for. This includes, but is not limited to, increased commute times to work, school, shopping, and every other destination.

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Remember there are other reasons for people locating out there such as low crime and lack of affordability in good neighborhoods. Honestly, my family cant afford to live anywhere else in the Charleston region comfortably.. perhaps more should be done to establish the middle class in good urban neighborhoods and less problems will occur with sprawl.. Most families will not think about traffic when they are limited in housing choices and it isnt quite fair to write off people when governments and deveopers wrote them off well in the past due to their accaptence of this phenomenon.

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^ I was suprised by how attractive the Park Cirle area is. That is a fantastic location, and I'm sure its a steal when you take that into consideration.

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