City council committee OKs plan to make Spring, Cannon streets 2-way

{}By Ava Wilhite

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Ways and Means Committee for the Charleston City Council approved a measure Tuesday evening that would pave the way for turning two main thoroughfares on and off the peninsula into two-way streets.

Carolyn White frequently uses Spring Street to conduct her daily errands, and especially on rainy days her trip is a cautious one.

"Sometimes, I got to look real good so I don't trip up when I'm walking because I'm a little older now and I can't get my feet up enough," said White.

White said she would like to see the crooked sidewalks be fixed considering the traffic on Spring Street increases every day as more businesses open.

"The business have come, we can't stop that. So, quite naturally then I think they need to widen it up, maybe do some new sidewalks and probably have to push a few things back," said White.

The width of Spring and Cannon streets won't be changing, but the landscape will with the proposed Spring Cannon Streetscape project.

"We're looking at all new sidewalks, all new granite curbs, new street lighting and new landscaping including crepe myrtles, to give a little canopy on the road. And then along with the two way conversion we've got new signals and traffic lights that go with that," said Dustin Clemens, Deputy Director of Capital Projects for the city parks department.

Clemens worked with several neighborhood associations to make sure the streetscape met the needs of both residents and commuters. He said city council has already approved plans to make Spring and Cannon two-way traffic streets.

"Based upon the traffic studies, this is the best solution to traffic calming for one, and for public safety because we know that when a high way or road or street is two way, it's very calming to traffic, and as a result of the calming we think that it increases public safety substantially," said Councilmember William Dudley Gregorie.

The cost for construction is $4.2 million. Construction for the streetscape is expected to begin in November.

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