Speed Patrol: Plantation Drive

By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After hearing from a viewer who was concerned about speeders in their neighborhood, WMBF News Speed Patrol headed out to Plantation Drive the Surfside Beach area.

The viewer wrote: "This is a quiet residential street where children play and ride their bikes and some elderly folks like to take a daily walk and others walk their dogs. With no shoulders on the road, there have been some close calls when people are mowing the lawn. "

While our concerned viewer wished to remain anonymous, WMBF News caught up with a man who also lives along the road who has his own concerns about speeding.

From his front room, Richard Moeller can see the cars cruise by on Plantation Drive.

"You can hear the cars coming already from the circle or from way down the street because they're wound up so and they go flying by here," Moeller said, adding the speeders have him worried about his family's safety. "I'm concerned because when we're out here working on the lawn, especially on the other side of the ditch, the cars try to come as close to you as they can."

Moeller is hoping the county will put speed humps in on his street just as they have in nine other Horry County neighborhoods facing chronic speeding problems. The installations are a part of the Horry County Traffic Calming Program, which is roughly 18 months old. The program gets $25,000 in funding every year as renewed by Horry County. Each speed hump costs $2,000 to $2,500 depending on material costs.

Moeller says he is such a supporter of the humps that he would not even mind them being placed right in front of his house.

Even though the road has been surveyed and meets the county's minimum criteria according to the Traffic Calming Program, the humps cannot go in until a majority of neighbors sign off on the change.

Moeller believes he could gather up to a dozen signatures, but is not confident he would be able to get a majority, especially considering the number of transient home owners in the neighborhood.

Bobby Selph, who lives down the road, says he is on board with the changes after two of his pets were hit in the road.

"They got run over by cars because they were going too fast," Selph said. "Two of my daughter's pets. She's like Elly May off of the Clampetts, she was devastated."

It will be a tough sell for neighbor Sharon Battistoni, however. Battistoni says she does not see the need for the humps.

"I think it doesn't do a good job of slowing people down," Battistoni told WMBF News. "I think we don't have a problem in this area with people going too fast."

Even if enough signatures come in, Plantation Drive still sits halfway down the waiting list of more than 40 neighborhoods looking to get the speed humps. Each neighborhood is ranked by priority after county engineers perform a survey of traffic on the road.

County Engineer Andrew J. Markunas says it could be next summer or the summer of 2011 before the neighborhood reaches the top of the list. For Moeller, he says he is willing to wait even though for him he says when it comes to speeding intervention it is 'The sooner the better' on Plantation Drive.

The following neighborhoods have seen the installation of speed humps since the program began roughly a year and a half ago:

  • Stonebridge Subdivision – Stonebridge Road
  • Farm Subdivision – Carolina Farms Blvd & Wheatfield Drive
  • Southgate Subdivision – Southgate Parkway
  • Hidden Lakes Village – Vermillion Drive
  • Arrowhead Subdivision – Arrowhead Blvd
  • Kingston Green Subdivision – Timber Ridge Road
  • Mallard Landing Subdivision – Spanish Oak Drive
  • Quail Creek – Erskine Road
  • Myrtle Trace South – Sand Ridge Road

To learn more about the program, visit http://www.horrycounty.org/depts/pubworks/TrafficCalming.pdf.

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