A roundabout could be coming to Orange Grove Rd.

December 08 15:40 2018 Print This Article

One of the features pictured in the four designs proposed to change the traffic flow at “suicide merge”, where Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road meet a point, would be a first for West Ashley – a roundabout. Known as “Plan A”, the design submitted by Charleston County transportation staff shows a roundabout at the intersection of Orange Grove Road and Manchester Road. A connecting road would be built through the current Mason Lodge property to the Bi-Lo parking lot, terminating at a traffic light. Drivers or pedestrians could then head through Sumar Street to Old Towne Road, which would be buffered by another traffic light. A third new traffic light could be substituted for the roundabout. The feature is designed to connect adjoining neighborhoods.

The four designs were presented by Charleston City Councilman Peter Shahid at Charles Towne Landing during his monthly Coffee and Conversation with Peter meeting. A group of about 20 shared their opinions on the four designs and asked questions. While possible redevelopment features for the former Northbridge Piggly Wiggly were displayed, Shahid kept the focus on the transportation changes. Any changes proposed by City of Charleston would have to be approved by the SCDOT. The funding would come from Charleston County’s 1% transportation sales tax. More than 40,000 cars per day travel on either side of the merge.

More than 70 people viewed the display boards for the designs Wednesday evening at the First Christian Church on Orange Grove Road. The designs are featured on a special website. Residents have until Friday, January 4 to submit feedback on the proposed designs. The website includes a survey form.  Some participants at the meeting Saturday sought a simpler transportation fix – adding a single traffic light at the intersection of Old Towne Road and Southgate Drive. The light could be timed to eliminate the merging of traffic from Old Towne and Sam Rittenberg. Charleston County Councilman Brantley Moody encouraged people to fill out the surveys and discuss the plans the with their neighbors so that the community can come up with a broad-based consensus. SCDOT will review all of the comments.

In other business, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg encouraged people to report concerns on the 843-724-7311 Citizen Services hotline. Staffed continuously, the operators assign each call a case number, assign the concern to the appropriate city department and maintain a tally of how many calls are coming in for each issue. Tecklenburg says the hotline, which was activated in October, fielded more than 1200 calls in November.