Conway officials looking to reduce traffic with roundabout, other options

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 7:23 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Back in February, the CIty of Conway held public input session seeking feedback regarding the 2022 Downtown Conway Master Plan.

The majority of the complaints pertained to the traffic on Main Street, with some of the suggestions being to add a roundabout.

Conway Public Works Director Brandon Harrelson said this idea is very premature and no process has begun. Any decision made will have to be coordinated with the South Carolina Department of Transportation before moving forward.

“I think it sparked some idea of interest,” said Harrelson. “There’s a lot of research that has to be done. There’s a lot of studies that have to be done. You don’t necessarily just say, were going to throw a roundabout and just roll with it. There is a lot that has to be done and we’re not even anywhere close to even beginning any of that.

Roundabouts weren’t the only idea.

“I have reached out to SCDOT trying to do some different things with traffic signals,” Harrelson said. “Maybe different times in syncing them different ways.”

Not everyone in Conway likes the idea of adding roundabouts, though.

“When we decided to put this store here on Main Street in Conway, traffic was a huge reason why we took this place,” said Chris Steele, who owns Myrtle Beach Games of Conway. “The longer they sit in that traffic. They’re looking around. Hopefully, they are not on their phone but they’re looking around and they’re gonna see interesting things in my windows, in other people’s windows and that will spark interest to come to our stores.”

Steele says he likes the constant traffic and it’s especially helpful for small local businesses.

“Traffic is a huge reason why people come to my store,” he added. “With faster-moving traffic, they won’t see my windows. They won’t see who we are and we’ll lose a little bit of business.”

It will take some time before a decision is made about the best solution to ease traffic on Main Street, but the City of Conway stressed that safety is their top priority.

“Looking forward to the future of trying to find a solution for the traffic, our primary goal is obviously safety,” said Harrelson. “It’s number one for pedestrians and vehicles, bicycles. Whatever they’re riding in or walking in and then also our infrastructure. We want to have a path downtown that people feel safe and enjoy walking on and traveling through so we wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize obviously safety.”

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