Florence Co. seeks input on transportation plan

Florence, SC - By Brandon Herring - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence County's Planning Services Department is working to finalize a comprehensive plan, which includes a plan for transportation in the county.

A complete update of the plan is made about every 10 years. Thursday night, the department held a public input session about the transportation element of the plan at the Lake City Senior Center. The meeting was the first of three scheduled meetings.

Planners have already created a draft of the transportation plan based on traffic data. Ideas in the plan include ways to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety.

One proposed idea is a traffic circle or round-about at the "five points" intersection in Florence. Planners say the intersection currently has a grade "E," which means it is nearing capacity. A traffic circle would improve the grade to "A."

Other areas being examined include Palmetto Street near the Florence County Airport and West Lucas Street near Interstate 95. Planners have drafted ideas on ways to improve traffic flow in those areas and reduce traffic accidents.

There are also ideas about how to improve the intersection of Salem Road and McAllister Mill Road west of Coward, where several serious accidents have happened.

Transportation ideas for the bus system and people on foot or bicycles are also included in the preliminary plan.

Although there are already several ideas, planner Scott Park says he still hopes to hear from the public.

"We can plan all we want, but if we don't have a public need or if we don't know what the public wants it kind of defeats our purpose," Park said. "Where people are moving to, where are our biggest growth areas, that has a lot to do with what kind of transportation we provide to them."

The second public input session will be May 4 at the Johnsonville City Council Meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The third meeting will be May 6 at the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Library in Florence from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

County planners will then take the transportation plan to the Planning Commission for consideration on May 25.

Park says the transportation plan, as well as the entire comprehensive plan, is a visionary effort that creates goals for the next 10 to 30 years. For any of the ideas to become reality, they have to get support from local government leaders and funding has to be secured.

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