IL growth spawns U.S. 521 traffic problems

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You don’t have to be psychic or read Reece Murphy’s article, “County leads region in building permits,” in the Dec. 11 issue of Carolina Gateway, to know construction is exploding in Indian Land.  

Just drive on U.S. 521 between 4 and 6:30 p.m. any weekday or Saturday afternoon and see what a mess it has turned into.

Clearly, nobody in a position of granting the permits cares how overcrowded and congested it gets, or how many ugly neon signs and digital advertisements pop up on the sides of buildings or on top of them as billboards.

I do wonder if any person or office giving out these building permits cares to see the expansion done with safety in mind. It seems any business can plunk a driveway down anywhere it wants to now, feeding a tremendous amount of traffic onto U.S. 521 every dozen feet or so with no forethought given to the fact that the highway already has an extremely dangerous configuration, designed for a time with 90 percent less traffic, so cars can zip out of a driveway, cross two lanes of traffic, cut through an opening in the median and make a left to go the other way.

I’ve seen too many near misses already at the new QT gas station when vehicles with North Carolina tags who come down here to buy cheaper gas will not turn right and go any further into South Carolina to make a safer left-hand turn at a traffic light, but rather pull out and cross through the existing cluster that is the left turning lane waiting for the light on Marvin Road. I don’t understand why that opening in the median wasn’t closed when the QT was built, but then again, I don’t understand why we still have all those other prime opportunities for rear-end collisions the length of U.S. 521. 

With the volume of traffic and the rate of speed on U.S. 521 these days, there should be no turns allowed where there is no extra turning lane provided.    

Crystal Stango

Indian Land