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Spartan

Columbia Traffic Congestion, Road Construction, and Planning

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Actually, an off ramp for the spur was built, but not paved (you can see it on the last big curve if you come into Columbia on 277) and a lot of land was bought and cleared (see North Main south of Sunset and the RR trestle, as well as corresponding barren strip on River Drive), but I believe money ran out, or there was political hoo-ha over where it was going to meet 126. The cemetery was a hold up point too.

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In one of my geography glasses at Carolina, a professor talked to us about an old plan for Columbia that had a system of radial high speed thoroughfares and a downtown loop, not unlike Charlotte has today. It would have been horrible had it been build. We would have zero access to the river (since there would have been a highway there), Five Points would have been all but razed, and we'd have the same connectivity issues that Charlotte has with its center city area. I'll try to dig around and find my old notes from college at some point and try to describe it in a little more detail. (I recall describing this several years back, but I can't for the life of me remember what thread it was in)

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^Thank God that wasn't built.

Columbia does not need anymore freeways within the I-20/26/77 Loop. There is just no need for it. I'd much rather have a continuous urban fabric with a bit of heavy traffic.

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The interstates is the one thing that state leaders have historically gotten right. They don't barrell through the heart of the CBDs of the state's urban areas, massively disrupting the urban fabric and essentially cutting downtown into two or more pieces.

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In one of my geography glasses at Carolina, a professor talked to us about an old plan for Columbia that had a system of radial high speed thoroughfares and a downtown loop, not unlike Charlotte has today. It would have been horrible had it been build. We would have zero access to the river (since there would have been a highway there), Five Points would have been all but razed, and we'd have the same connectivity issues that Charlotte has with its center city area. I'll try to dig around and find my old notes from college at some point and try to describe it in a little more detail. (I recall describing this several years back, but I can't for the life of me remember what thread it was in)

I remember seeing that report. I believe it was called the Doxiodus (sic) Report, named after the Greek city planning company that drew up that despicable document. I pray that they have since gone out of business.

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Yeah, that's the one!

The Doxiadis Report was pretty typical of late 60s and early 70s city planning. But it did have some good concepts, one of which was having pedestrians be the focus of downtown, revitalizing the river for the people with mixed use development, and having denser housing within center city Columbia.

The problem was that they miscalculated what turning Huger St into a freeway would have done to the city by cutting off the river from downtown.

Here's a link to a South Carolina Magazine article about Columbia's Riverwalk, which talks about the Doxiadis report. It doesn't, however, mention the freeways or other aspects of the plan that weren't so great. In my experience, the main problem with plans from that era was how it separated land use and transportation planning as though you could do whatever you wanted to with the streets and highways and it would not impact the urban landscape through which they are built.

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Thank you, Spartan, for the link. I have been so blinded by my dislike for the traffic pattern promoted in that report that I had actually forgotten about all of the truly great stuff that was presented. I withdraw fully my hope for the demise of Doxiadis' company.

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Nah man, you're entitled to you're opinions :) I wish I could find my notes on it or actually read the report. We have 277 and 126 essentially because of that report. Those two highways have dramatically impacted the growth of Columbia for better or for worse, depending on your point of view. It could have gone much further though.

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I drove through Columbia today and I have two observations.

1- Bull St doesn't look finished. I think they're going to come back and put a final layer of asphalt down. You can still see the curbline and some of the sewer caps are exposed.

2- 12th Street extension is a serious contender for the most unnecessary road in South Carolina. It goes nowhere, it is extremely wide, and the traffic is non existant. Can anyone explain why this road exists?

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The 12th street exension area is supposed to grow like crazy, especially with SCE&G going out there. Numerous industries (some DCs, too) have been added to the frontage road.

I think they might extend it past that interchange and put an industrial park there as well.

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I drove through Columbia today and I have two observations.

1- Bull St doesn't look finished. I think they're going to come back and put a final layer of asphalt down. You can still see the curbline and some of the sewer caps are exposed.

2- 12th Street extension is a serious contender for the most unnecessary road in South Carolina. It goes nowhere, it is extremely wide, and the traffic is non existant. Can anyone explain why this road exists?

I think this road would be more useful to me if I still lived in Cayce...to me, it's a quicker way to get to I-77 and I-26 as opposed to going down 321. I do see a good bit of industrial traffic when I use it.

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Obviously the growth aspects of it are valid. Considering that this had an undeveloped area, I'm disappointed at suburban growth patterns are being encouraged. This could have been an opportunity to do it right. Oh well. I guess in 10 years when its built out, the congestion will justify the width since there will be no other way to get around.

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Obviously the growth aspects of it are valid. Considering that this had an undeveloped area, I'm disappointed at suburban growth patterns are being encouraged. This could have been an opportunity to do it right. Oh well. I guess in 10 years when its built out, the congestion will justify the width since there will be no other way to get around.

I use the 12th Street Extension all the time, but I do live in Cayce. It saves A LOT of time when getting on I-26 to go towards Charleston, and when going to the Garners Ferry area. Watch out when travelling it, though--it is a speed trap!

After SCE&G's new campus is finished (even though I am mad at them for leaving downtown), I pray that we'll FINALLY get some decent stores and restaurants in Cayce. Target, Olive Garden, Best Buy, Chic-Fil-A, Five Guys, Panera Bread: bring 'em on! We have some great local establishments in Cayce on Knox Abbott that we support, and that should remain strong, but we desperately need some big names, and this new area is ripe for it. Even though I'm against sprawl, this IS Cayce--so I don't expect a neo-traditional lifestyle center or anything, although that would be great! All of those I mentioned and more could fit right in there. :thumbsup:

Edited by digital_sandlapper

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I use the 12th Street Extension all the time, but I do live in Cayce. It saves A LOT of time when getting on I-26 to go towards Charleston, and when going to the Garners Ferry area. Watch out when travelling it, though--it is a speed trap!

After SCE&G's new campus is finished (even though I am mad at them for leaving downtown), I pray that we'll FINALLY get some decent stores and restaurants in Cayce. Target, Olive Garden, Best Buy, Chic-Fil-A, Five Guys, Panera Bread: bring 'em on! We have some great local establishments in Cayce on Knox Abbott that we support, and that should remain strong, but we desperately need some big names, and this new area is ripe for it. Even though I'm against sprawl, this IS Cayce--so I don't expect a neo-traditional lifestyle center or anything, although that would be great! All of those I mentioned and more could fit right in there. :thumbsup:

That 12th extension i use everyone once and a while but its really helpful to get from west columbia to 77-26 to garners ferry. also if they start to develop more houses and mix units out there that highway will be used alot.

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According to the City of Columbia website part of Sunset Drive will be closed starting this Monday and could be closed for 60 days due to a sewer main collapse. I wish while this inconvenience was taking place the SCDOT could take advantage of this and widen this .5 miles stretch of road. Either side of this area is 4 lanes. This area is in need of attention. I realize it would take more than 60 days to widen the road but maybe the process could begin.

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According to the City of Columbia website part of Sunset Drive will be closed starting this Monday and could be closed for 60 days due to a sewer main collapse. I wish while this inconvenience was taking place the SCDOT could take advantage of this and widen this .5 miles stretch of road. Either side of this area is 4 lanes. This area is in need of attention. I realize it would take more than 60 days to widen the road but maybe the process could begin.

I had a similar thought when I read about the road closure through this area. It's way too heavily-traveled to remain 2 lanes. I don't know what the resistance has been (environmental impact to the creek, ROW), but it seems to me that that area should be a priority.

In the meantime, I feel for those who have to commute through that area. They're going to be routed directly into the middle of the North Main construction.

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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 got my answer today...the resurfacing has resumed on Bull street. Nice!

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I got my answer today...the resurfacing has resumed on Bull street. Nice!

I rode on bull st today and its much better then before but also im not sure if anyone seen that elmwood is being ripped up right now to be done also.

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And they are finally putting the final layer of pavement on Main Street from Hampton to Blanding to go along with the new streetscaping.

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This is going to be going on for 60 days? Most of the traffic is using my street as a detour instead of the designated one on River Drive and Main Street. It has been next to impossible to get out of my driveway at times, lol.

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This is going to be going on for 60 days? Most of the traffic is using my street as a detour instead of the designated one on River Drive and Main Street. It has been next to impossible to get out of my driveway at times, lol.

I noticed that on Sunday afternoon. People are cutting through Keenan Terrace onto streets that were not designed to handle that kind of traffic flow. I think one of the problems is that the detour signs aren't very noticeable. The "road closed" signs are sitting on the side of the road, so people think they can still drive through.

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