Spartan

Columbia Traffic Congestion, Road Construction, and Planning

151 posts in this topic

This thread is to discuss issues related to traffic congestion, transportation planning (excluding transit), and what the city and/or SCDOT is doing about it.

My first topic is this-

SCDOT is planning to use the black information boards to report traffic patterns to drivers, so that you will know approximately how long it will take to reach major intersections. They have these boards on 26, 126, and 77. This is used in Atlanta all the time. This Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is a long time overdue, in my opinion. I'm glad that SCDOT is finally getting aroudn to using these boards for more than amber alerts.

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I noticed the boards in operation for the first time this morning on my way to work.

The times are slight overestimates (i.e., it says <15 minutes for my commute on I-20, though it actually took ~8), but in the event of an accident or any sort of severe congestion, I can see it being immensely valuable.

That being said, I'm typically quite content with how traffic flows in Columbia. Compared to other major urban areas, our traffic problems are pretty minimal...although that's not to say that they can't use any improvement. :lol:

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Will they be doing this for the other message boards located in the rest of the state too?

Edited by citylife

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Yes, eventually. The Columbia area signs being tested first.

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This thread is to discuss issues related to traffic congestion, transportation planning (excluding transit), and what the city and/or SCDOT is doing about it.

My first topic is this-

SCDOT is planning to use the black information boards to report traffic patterns to drivers, so that you will know approximately how long it will take to reach major intersections. They have these boards on 26, 126, and 77. This is used in Atlanta all the time. This Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is a long time overdue, in my opinion. I'm glad that SCDOT is finally getting aroudn to using these boards for more than amber alerts.

Link

Is this thread also about:

1) road improvements (widening, bridge replacements) needed/planned;

2) roadway repairs (pot holes, re-paving) needed/planned;

3) traffic lights/signs/intersection improvements needed/planned;

4) streetscaping/burying power lines/planting trees/beautification needed/planned; and

5) bike lanes/crosswalks/sidewalks needed/planned?

Also, is it okay to discuss those in Cayce, W. Cola, Richland NE, Forest Acres, and other areas not in the city limits of Columbia?

Just wanted to check before I add my 2 cents' worth!

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Is this thread also about:

1) road improvements (widening, bridge replacements) needed/planned;

2) roadway repairs (pot holes, re-paving) needed/planned;

3) traffic lights/signs/intersection improvements needed/planned;

4) streetscaping/burying power lines/planting trees/beautification needed/planned; and

5) bike lanes/crosswalks/sidewalks needed/planned?

Also, is it okay to discuss those in Cayce, W. Cola, Richland NE, Forest Acres, and other areas not in the city limits of Columbia?

Just wanted to check before I add my 2 cents' worth!

Of course; all of the threads are for the metro area, not just the city.

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Sure, any metro area transportation topic that isn't transit. We've had past threads for issues like Hard Scrabble Rd and the Richland County Transportation Plan that got vetoed, so this would cover any and all issues relevant to this topic.

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I have not seen any mention of the resurfacing of Bull Street downtown on any threads so I thought I would ask. Is this project complete? If so that is the worst job I have ever seen. If not, any word on the completing time?

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Are they supposed to be resurfacing Bull Street, or are they in the process of doing so? Personally, I think Bull Street should be completely streetscaped to help connect the CBD, the historic district, and the Bull Street campus.

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All I know is the road has been resurfaced to an extent. I usually don't take that road but made a new route over a month ago and since then have never seen any construction signs/crews. I assume it was done late last year?? However, the road is so uneven at intersections and if you park on the side the old pavement is a good two inches higher near curb. The part I travel is between Elmwood and Gervais. Just looks like a half done job. It would have been a nice area to be streetscaped!

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I have not seen any mention of the resurfacing of Bull Street downtown on any threads so I thought I would ask. Is this project complete? If so that is the worst job I have ever seen. If not, any word on the completing time?

I agree that that is one of the worst jobs of re-surfacing I have ever seen! It's like speed bumps whenever you attempt to cross Bull Street.

Another job that is only half done or one lousy jog, Main Street between Hampton and Blanding.

Come on city hall, WAKE UP! Come the next election I will vote against every incumbent.

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I noticed the boards in operation for the first time this morning on my way to work.

The times are slight overestimates (i.e., it says <15 minutes for my commute on I-20, though it actually took ~8), but in the event of an accident or any sort of severe congestion, I can see it being immensely valuable.

That being said, I'm typically quite content with how traffic flows in Columbia. Compared to other major urban areas, our traffic problems are pretty minimal...although that's not to say that they can't use any improvement. :lol:

I think the boards are a good idea...one thing that I think would help would be for the DOT to also include the distance, the way the Atlanta boards do. For example, if you're on I-26 inbound from Harbison, the sign could read "I-126, 3 miles, 4-5 minutes." It gives me an idea not just of time, but of average speed as well.

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I'm pretty sure every car is equipped with a speed measuring device ;)

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I agree that that is one of the worst jobs of re-surfacing I have ever seen! It's like speed bumps whenever you attempt to cross Bull Street.

Another job that is only half done or one lousy jog, Main Street between Hampton and Blanding.

Come on city hall, WAKE UP! Come the next election I will vote against every incumbent.

Surely they can't be finished. The other resurfacings seem to have gone pretty well.

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I havent seen this for myself, but a general observation is that you can't pave asphalt if its too cold. They could be waiting for it to warm up for several days.

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I think a good way to relieve traffic congestion is one build HOV Lanes (capool lanes) on I-26/126 and also a idea for a connection spur from 126-277 will relieve traffic more becuase people wouldnt have to stop @ lights on elmwood and they can just keep going stirght threw the city to 277. :)

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I'm pretty sure every car is equipped with a speed measuring device ;)

Duly noted. :P

I was just saying that I think it would be helpful to have some frame of reference for the time given. 10 minutes to travel 9 miles vs. 10 minutes to travel 2 miles are very different.

Edited by waverider

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I have to agree with you waverider. If I am not mistaken that is how it is setup in many places in Florida as well. Another change I would make is to remove the "<" less than symbol before the minutes. That symbol isn't needed and may cause confusion with many drivers.

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I think a good way to relieve traffic congestion is one build HOV Lanes (capool lanes) on I-26/126 and also a idea for a connection spur from 126-277 will relieve traffic more becuase people wouldnt have to stop @ lights on elmwood and they can just keep going stirght threw the city to 277. :)

HOV lanes might work, but our state is notorious in its acceptance of out-of-state trans . . . well, anything :ermm: . The 126/277 spur would never happen because there is no room for it. You would have to bulldoze through Elmwood, Cotton Town, and much of North Columbia--and that is just NOT going to happen (for good reason).

As long as we're dreaming, I would LOVE it if Greystone could be extended from 126 over (to the west) of the zoo and hook up with Sunset Blvd./Hwy. 378, then on to 12th Street. We that live in Cayce-W. Cola. are tired of having to go either through downtown via Huger St. to 126, or down Hwy. 1 or 378 all the way to I-26, then up that busy interstate just to go to Harbison, Broad River Rd., the zoo, etc. This would require another bridge over the Saluda River, of course, and the neighborhoods on the south side would howl in protest, so it'll never happen. But, hey, we ARE dreaming . . . :shades:

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The DOT is looking into HOV lanes along I-126/26....I don't really know the extent of it but it's being analized.

I agree with digital, an I-126/SC 277 Spur will cut through established neighborhoods, besides, I don't see people using such a route since most inbound traffic on I-126 and SC 277 is heading downtown, not passing through. I-20 serves that purpose just fine.

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The DOT is looking into HOV lanes along I-126/26....I don't really know the extent of it but it's being analized.

I agree with digital, an I-126/SC 277 Spur will cut through established neighborhoods, besides, I don't see people using such a route since most inbound traffic on I-126 and SC 277 is heading downtown, not passing through. I-20 serves that purpose just fine.

I find HOV lanes to be useless and a waste of money just like interstate loops. Just look at the HOV lanes in Atlanta. They only exist in the left lane while the majority of exits are in the right lane. Also, there are only certain spots you can merge in and out of the HOV lane legally even though I see people do it all the time when the line is solid white. On top of that, it's a pain in the rear end when the line is solid white and there is some old person going 35 mph and you can't get around it. <_<

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HOV lanes might work, but our state is notorious in its acceptance of out-of-state trans . . . well, anything :ermm: . The 126/277 spur would never happen because there is no room for it. You would have to bulldoze through Elmwood, Cotton Town, and much of North Columbia--and that is just NOT going to happen (for good reason).

As long as we're dreaming, I would LOVE it if Greystone could be extended from 126 over (to the west) of the zoo and hook up with Sunset Blvd./Hwy. 378, then on to 12th Street. We that live in Cayce-W. Cola. are tired of having to go either through downtown via Huger St. to 126, or down Hwy. 1 or 378 all the way to I-26, then up that busy interstate just to go to Harbison, Broad River Rd., the zoo, etc. This would require another bridge over the Saluda River, of course, and the neighborhoods on the south side would howl in protest, so it'll never happen. But, hey, we ARE dreaming . . . :shades:

I know the interstate link up will work and also there it room becuase you can make a double decker highway. 4-8 lanes wide 16 lanes on top of each other. Also it would be over bull st and elmwood. i have a rendering if would like to see it. it will take about a few days to get it up, but im planning to present my rendering to the mayor of scdot.

Edited by growingup15

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Columbia has enough highways. Elmwood's lights might add an extra 5 minutes to your trip if you have to use 277 ad 126. Adding a multi-million dollar highway for such a small gain is not worth it. The congestion at Bull & Elmwood is kind of bad during peak hour traffic, but its fine the rest of the day.

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Attempting to join 277 and 126 is a bad idea no matter from which angle you look. All you have to do is read up on the Portland, Oregon, experience. The short version is that downtown Portland was dieing even though there was an overhead expressway carrying a multitude of traffic. They tore down the freeway and converted it to a wide landscaped boulevard and, voila, downtown Portland revived and is now quite vibrant.

The HOV lanes are another kettle of fish altogether. They seem to work very well in northern Virginia entering Washington, DC, and a few other spots I have seen, however, I really don't think that Columbia will benefit from them. I have viewed the traffic on the surrounding interstates during rush hour and seem to observe that only .1% of the cars would qualify to use the HOVs. First, they would go empty and all of the traffic would be squeezed into the remaining lanes, then, discouraged by seeing the empty lane, the non-qualifying drivers would just ignore the rules and use them anyway. Thus, IMO HOVs would end up being a grand waste of money here.

IMO, if we are to continue to be automobile intensive and shun high speed rail and other forms of public transport, all of the surrounding interstates for at least 30 miles out from the city should be 5 lanes each way with the fifth lane ALWAYS being exit only. The real moral and long term solution, of course, is public transportation.

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The concept of HOV lanes is to encourage people to carpool because you will get where you need to go faster. I've used the ones here in Charlotte. They work pretty well most of the time.

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