When I first heard about the proposed West Ashley Circle in 2014, it was promoted as a means to improve traffic flow along the intersection of Glenn McConnell Pkwy and Bees Ferry Rd., which is estimated to have up to 27,000 cars pass through each day. I pictured a “roundabout” like Park Circle in North Charleston, which allows drivers to access numerous intersections in the center of the city.
It turns out that the road is not a roundabout and does nothing to improve traffic flow. It actually slows traffic down with two additional traffic lights. It also does not connect neighborhoods as planners had promised. I call it The Road To Nowhere.
An aerial view of the proposed West Ashley Circle
The road was built in wetlands and was paved in Sept. 2015. The pavement led to increased runoff during the heavy rains in Oct. 2015 and contributed to massive property damage in the Hickory Farms, Hickory Hills and Shadowmoss neighborhoods.
The road did not actually open to traffic until Apr. 2016. Shadowmoss resident Charlie Fowler says that he and hundreds of other drivers were unaware of the opening and got delayed by getting routed from Bees Ferry Rd. back to a stretch of Bees Ferry Rd. they had already passed.
ABC News 4 reporter Bill Burr broadcast a segment revealing the frustration residents have about the $7 Million project. City planner Jacob Lindsey told him the road will improve traffic flow and lead to the revitalization of West Ashley. You can see the news report on this link: http://abcnews4.com/news/local/residents-worry-traffic-circle-to-nowhere-was-waste-of-resources.
The land inside the West Ashley Circle has large amounts of standing water. Plans to further develop these wetlands should be halted now. It will only cause more flooding in the surrounding neighborhoods and significant property damage. The City of Charleston needs to admit that this project was a mistake.