The new interchange at the intersection of highway 17 and 707 is on track to open in a few months. It will definitely improve the terrible traffic conditions at that location, but those problems could shift to the next traffic signal just down the road.
When the design for the new interchange was proposed, the SCDOT said there were no plans to remove the signal at Palmetto Point Boulevard and 17. I believe that was a poor decision. Why spend more than $120 million on an improved interchange, only to shift the problem a mile or so down the road? And guess what? Now there are plans to install a second traffic signal just south of the Palmetto Point intersection.
Hopefully synchronized signals will keep those two areas from becoming the next traffic nightmare, but Highway 17 traffic will stop at some point, and that is unnecessary. Instead, the SCDOT should remove the traffic signals, close the intersections and install dedicated U-turns just like the U-turns it is building under the 17/707 overpass. That would allow drivers from the Palmetto Point area, and those using the new Coventry Boulevard access, to safely navigate onto 17 north or south and keep traffic flowing. More traffic signals, even with synchronized timing, will only shift the 17/707 problem to another location.
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