Conway residents fear traffic danger

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) People who live and work near Downtown Conway are worried after numerous accidents within a 4-block radius on Main Street.

They blame those crashes on drivers disobeying the 25 mph speed limit and running red lights.

"I'm always worried about going across the street and having someone crashing through a red light and you would be pretty much hurt very badly," said Ron Grapatin.

Records obtained from the Conway Police Department document 231 total accidents between this time last year and now on Main Street. The statistics show 48 of those crashes happened between 2nd and 6th avenues.

Davette Toppings works right off Main Street and she witnessed a serious pedestrian accident just weeks ago.

"Someone hit her and she went flying. She broke a vertebra in her back and fractured her pelvis and messed up the one eye that she landed on," said Toppings.

City Administrator Bill Graham recognizes the accident numbers sound high and says there is cause for concern. He says the city has already brought safety concerns to the state, which has jurisdiction over Highway 501 Business.

Mike Bethea, regional engineer with the South Carolina Department of Transportation says the state needs more information about the types of accidents occurring before it can study the area.

"We would need the city to forward the accident information to us and we'll be glad to look. We'll look at just one accident. There doesn't have to be a number of accidents before we look at it," Bethea said.

He says SCDOT will work to see what improvements can be made once it knows more.

Pedestrians say improvements need to be made as soon as possible and urge leaders to consider more police patrols or red-light cameras.

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