James Islanders demand traffic light at intersection

By Nikki

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV)The push for a traffic light at a popular intersection on James Island intensifies. On Friday, community leaders, lawmakers, and homeowners met with the SCDOT at James Island Elementary. They urged them to put a traffic light near the intersection of Grimball and Folly Road.

James Island mayor, Bill Woolsey, says the town has fought for a traffic light in the area for at least the last five years.

"Going out here is almost like taking a risk with your life everyday," said homeowner, Nadia Roper.

Roper says a traffic light would make the intersection much safer.

"You have to sit. You have to look around that fence and when you do, you pretty much gun it," she said. "You're practically going 90 mph to get to the other side of the road with your life."

Woolsey says a developer plans to build about 300 multi-family units near the intersection, making the need for a traffic light even greater.

"We passed a resolution favoring the stop light about a month ago," he said.

The intersection sits just a short distance from James Island Elementary.

"We just see the traffic getting worse and we believe the stop light would help the community," said Woolsey.

"I think waiting until we have too many crashes or we lose a loved or a child is too late to decide to put a stop light in," said James Island councilman, Leonard Blank. "I've already had a close member of my family die in this area on the island in the traffic.

Last September, the SCDOT conducted a study. Engineers say it revealed that the traffic flow just didn't warrant a light.

"If it's put in and it's not warranted, it could create some other issues--rear end accidents," said SCDOT district traffic engineer, Mark Nesbit.

Roper argues the SCDOT's study is misleading.

"In order to really capture what's going on out here, they should come either between May and August because that way, we'll have a little beach traffic as well as the school traffic," said Roper. "We're not asking for a miracle. We just want a light."

After Friday's meeting, Nesbit says the SCDOT will review its past studies to determine is another study will be conducted in the near future.