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vicupstate

Mark Clark Expressway gets state funding

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Mark Clark receives $420 mm for extention to John's, James Islands

I'm guessing that preservation money from the half-cent sales tax in Chas. will be used to buy up the land around the future interchange(s) on John's Island.

While the need for this highway is there, the plans to preserve the rural character of John's Island have to be in place first. Fortunately, it seems that Mayor Riley and Council chair Stavinakis at least agree in principal on that.

However this eventually turns out, it will be a textbook example of how to contain sprawl, or how containing sprawl is an exercise in futility. It will be interesting to see how John's Island looks in ten years.

P.S. It has long been the contention that Charleston and the Low Country receives more than it's share of state highway money, from the viewpoint of the Midlands and Upstate. Given the vast sums given to the Trident area since the Infrastructure Bank was created (under Gov. Beasley), their stack of evidence is getting pretty tall.

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I get the feeling that Charleston is paving its way to oblivion. It has a huge traffic problem for such a small metro. When will they learn that you can't pave your way out of congestion?

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I get the feeling that Charleston is paving its way to oblivion. It has a huge traffic problem for such a small metro. When will they learn that you can't pave your way out of congestion?

In recent memory, we've had so many major highway projects in the Charleston area. This includes the first stages of the Mark Clark, the Glenn McConnell Parkway, Hungryneck Blvd., the James Island Connector, the Berlin G. Myers Parkway, and the Isle of Palms Connector, not to mention the widening of many older roads. Yet, traffic has grown much, much worse during this time. All people have to do to prove Metro.M's point is to look at the traffic congestion on and around all these new roads!

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The freedom of continious residential development is whats putting metro area roadways at near/full capacity. Metro makes a good point, you can never fully pave your way out of congestion but at the same time, try to keep up with the growing population as much as possible too by upgrading public works. While you cant please everyone, people still take notice and appreciate what the county and state continously tries to improve everyones ride.

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While you can't pave your way out of congestion, this is a vital conection for metro Charleston to have.

Charleston has a unique situation in that that its tidal rivers create lots of barriers for asphalt. This provides an excellent opportunity for mass transit to bypass the congestion. I know they are looking into it it but I wouldn't mind seeing it happen faster :)

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...P.S. It has long been the contention that Charleston and the Low Country receives more than it's share of state highway money, from the viewpoint of the Midlands and Upstate. Given the vast sums given to the Trident area since the Infrastructure Bank was created (under Gov. Beasley), their stack of evidence is getting pretty tall.

Wow, this is excellent news...this shows how long I've been out of the loop lately. ;) Finally! Funding for this last leg of the expressway should get the project rolling and the west side of the Chas area will see more of an economic boost once it is completed.

Vic, it's interesting you bring that up about the Upstate and the Midlands. What many people in those regions seem to forget is that their cities are saturated with road and highway infrastructure projects, while Chas and the Lowcountry had been neglected for many years. G'ville has I-85, I-385, and I-185 all completed with more plans for roads in the works. Cola has I-26, I-77, I-20, and I-126 giving it unprecedented infrastructure in comparison to any other major SC city. The new bridge is something that had been LONG overdue, as well as this last extension of the Mark Clark and the widening of US 17. If you look at it, the Lowcountry projects are basically keeping up with what the other regions have been given.

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Maybe we'll see some progress this year...

"McConnell and Harrell both characterize the Mark Clark as more of a statewide project than a local one. "My position is that's the only piece of the state's interstate that hasn't been completed. It ends in a clump of dirt on James Island and in West Ashley," McConnell said. "There's no question that having people who understood the importance of that to our area helped get that up to the forefront.""

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Ahh yeah. The best way to preserve rural character of an area is to build a major interstate type highway through it. :rolleyes:

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lol. Seriously though the thoroughfare to Downtown is needed badly for morning and evening commute.

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Umm why is this good news??? It will destory the rural landscape of John Island and make even more traffic when they build thousands of new homes...I mean seriously look at the big picture here. As I said in some other post, Its like a fat guy buying bigger pants instead of working out to lose the weight.

P.S. Sorry to all you fatties out there but I mean there really are some wonders out on the market for weight loss. There really aren't any excuses left these days. Being big boned isn't going to work anymore chubby.

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Maybe we'll see some progress this year...

"McConnell and Harrell both characterize the Mark Clark as more of a statewide project than a local one. "My position is that's the only piece of the state's interstate that hasn't been completed. It ends in a clump of dirt on James Island and in West Ashley," McConnell said. "There's no question that having people who understood the importance of that to our area helped get that up to the forefront.""

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i don't understand the push to extend 526 through james and john's island. maybe if our local governments would sit down and think drastically, they would realize that extending the interstate is going to create worse problems eventually....ie the glen mcconell parkway was made to alleviate(sp?) traffic on hwy 61, but just spawned more development in new areas and thus the parkway is at a standstill most mornings, even during the summer when school isnt it. why dont they enhance our current infastructure. i think it is better use of tax dollars by widening the exsisting portions of 526 and widening 26 and other heavily traveled roads. also the majority of people i know dont want 526 exteneded anymore than it already is.

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Yeah but the County and City have the ability to prevent that from happening. And anyways having this road built isn't going to prevent this area from being developed to the maximum extent allowed by planners. It's just going to make life more difficult for the people that choose to live in those new developments, which by the look of some of the responses here wouldn't be such a bad thing in your opinions. You got yours no need for others to have it also. It's a fine line between preservation and selfishness.

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Yeah but the County and City have the ability to prevent that from happening. And anyways having this road built isn't going to prevent this area from being developed to the maximum extent allowed by planners. It's just going to make life more difficult for the people that choose to live in those new developments, which by the look of some of the responses here wouldn't be such a bad thing in your opinions. You got yours no need for others to have it also. It's a fine line between preservation and selfishness.

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If the houses arent built along these newly constructed roads, then they would just be further out cuasing more of a traffic nightmare on less roads. Of course when you build a new road there will be traffic, but the alternative would be pusshing the development somewhere else and the same traffic problem to be worse somewhere else. Its a growing area and the excuse that development happened on one road and caused traffic is not viable.. your not going to stop building roads in a growing area, widening them wont help at all either.

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No, there's been studies done that show that this highway will just shift traffic around. AndrewsSC makes a good point. Glenn McConnell was supposed to help "solve" the problem of too much development on Highway 61. Try driving either of those roads at rush hour and tell me the problem was solved.

Also, I'll put this question to you -- who's being selfish? People who care deeply about their hometown and make responsible personal choices, or people who buy houses with little consideration for the distance to their workplaces and then whine and expect government (i.e. taxpayers) to solve their traffic headaches? For people who actually live and work on Johns Island, this expressway won't bring any benefit. It'll just dump more traffic onto their local roads and bring unwanted development. Even people will reasonable commutes off the island will be hurt. Only the guy with his three car garage and his job in North Charleston or Daniel Island will benefit from this expressway. Even then, it's only a matter of time until his commute again becomes the traffic nightmare it was always meant to be. Again, who's being selfish here?

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John's Island is one of the closest undeveloped places to Charleston and I kind believe that it isnt reasonable to protect rural lifesyle within 20 miles of a principal downtow area.. If smart development occurs it cont be that bad... It will take better mass transit to ease all of our traffic. Also, You must remember that everyone cant live close to were they work nor would some of them want to ie, someparts of N. Chas or downtown...

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I think if you live 20 miles from work, that's your personal choice and you shouldn't expect an easy commute as a God given right. I understand that people can't always live right next to their work, and that's why I think a commute off John's Island can be reasonable, depending on where you work. However, this expressway will not help those people.

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Umm why is this good news??? It will destory the rural landscape of John Island and make even more traffic when they build thousands of new homes...I mean seriously look at the big picture here. As I said in some other post, Its like a fat guy buying bigger pants instead of working out to lose the weight...

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First of all, for those in opposition to the completion of the expressway, I have one question: Have you driven around West Ashley lately?? The traffic there is ridiculous and extremely frustrating. It is not just during peak-hours, it is ALL day long and even worse on weekends. It is one thing to have a highway that is just clogged, but it is outrageous when the highway is clogged and its not even constructed to its full capacity!! At the end of 526, where does the traffic go? The road leads to nowhere, more traffic misery and more clogged highways.

In my opinion it is simply a matter of having sufficient infrastructure with the city and state serving their citizens, might I add, tax-paying citizens by completing this highway. I want officials for the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina to acknowledge this. I find that those in opposition are being rather selfish. What rural character do they speak of? The one that vanished YEARS ago compared to what my great-grandparents and other old timers talk about? I'm not sure what is trying to be preserved and truthfully, I don't think they know either. Furthermore, this expressway will beneficial to ALL residents of the area, many of whom often travel to West Ashley for various reasons-myself included.

To the contrary, if the expressway is not built, does this somehow gurantee a check on growth in Charleston? Again I pose a question: Have you been down Meeting Street or any of the other main throughfares lately? People love this place :thumbsup: . They just don't visit anymore, they move here. I'm talking TX, MA, etc and they are continuing to move here in herds. By not building this road amongst others in need of repair, it will not remove the welcome mat from this city. Instead, it will further complicate the traffic issues on our already clogged highways and potentially cause Charleston to miss out on being the state's leader and even more viable in the Southeast. Furthermore, some establishments West Ashley lose business because some customers refuse to fight the traffic to get there, I am in this crowd as well.

I know the culture and the landscape of the city which I love and respect. Furthermore, I concur that Johns Island may experience growth, but I have confidence that this growth if planned effectively and openly with citizen input and consideration with developers can be healthy.

Time effectuates change, and Charleston is off on a different path in the 21st century, and it is high time that they-those in opposition- come aboard or be left behind.

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First of all, for those in opposition to the completion of the expressway, I have one question: Have you driven around West Ashley lately?? The traffic there is ridiculous and extremely frustrating. It is not just during peak-hours, it is ALL day long and even worse on weekends. It is one thing to have a highway that is just clogged, but it is outrageous when the highway is clogged and its not even constructed to its full capacity!! At the end of 526, where does the traffic go? The road leads to nowhere, more traffic misery and more clogged highways.

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Most traffic in West Ashley is local traffic, and the traffic is bad because West Ashley's planning has sucked since the very beginning. There's a lot of development and you can't walk to a darn thing, so everyone drives and the traffic sucks. How will building more roads help this?

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first off i think that traffic around west ashley isnt that bad...yes there are problems areas like 61 and 17 but not all day long. and secondly....why are we continuously building new roads instead of taking care of our infastructure already built. update what we have and then expand. there is no reason that 526 should be completed all the way, when at 5 oclock in the afternoon it takes you 20 minutes to get over the don holt bridge. and no one can say that all those cars are going downtown or james/johns island. i bet the majority of people that use 526...merge onto 26 and go out in dorchester and berkeley counties. also all this investment into 526 is bad for 26, which is at the ending of its life, and no one in charleston county is talking about improving our main interstate. sure there is hte widening project that wont start until 2008-09, then it will be just as bad as today. my point is that we shuold improve what we have instead of build new segments of roads, etc. i am saying this not because i am aganist developement on the islands, but because i am using common sense...something i think alot of our leaders lack.

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I totally agree that 26 is in dire need of improvement and should be worked on first. 26/526 merge is pretty bad, but small potatoes. Try 1-4/275 in Tampa or 1-77/1-85 in Charlotte sometime lol. However, we all know construction on 26 is another animal all together.

In regards to traffic West Ashley, where specifically can these improvements be made? I just don't see much room for expansion of the current highways, with the possible exeception of S.C. 61-. Enlighten, heck humor me with some suggestions. I just firmly believe that finishing 526 will take the Islanders, tourists, and beach-goers out of West Ashley and back home without using the main throughfares. Since the islands are growing so fast, I don't understand why this is a bad idea. Should they widen the current roads out there to mirror West Ashley's clogged highways? This could also be beneficial for those groups when their heading 26 West to North Chas/Summerville or out of town. Traveling through West Ashley would not be necessary. As a result, most traffic West Ashley can be local or for the scattering of downtown folks like myself.

My concern for this issue stems from the fact I just recently graduated from Carolina-USC- and returned home to Charleston to figure out whats next and realized there is some work to be done here. Although I'm thrilled to be back, I noticed that Columbia has leverage over us with the ease of transportation in that area. True, Charleston is more dense, but the highway system there just makes more sense. Very RARELY will you be caught in dense traffic in Cola outside of Harbison Blvd and 1-26/20 merge simply because the interstates form a complete beltway around the city. Though we don't have three-interstates to make this happen, we certainly should finish 526 to complete Charleston's beltway.

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