Driver says new grocery store turn lane is dangerous

A car traveling in the left turn lane in the wrong direction, using it as a median lane. That lane was a median until recently, causing confusion for some drivers.

The Lowes Foods in Pawleys Island hasn't been open for long, but the changes it brought to traffic patterns in the area could be creating a dangerous situation, according to one resident.

Nancy Crawford says her son Justin Crawford was in a wreck last Friday because she says a median lane that was once a place cars could wait to get in to oncoming traffic on Highway 17 is no longer there. It has been replaced with a left turn lane for drivers pulling in to the grocery store.

Drivers are used to the median being there. Nancy Crawford said there was very little notice given about the lane change.

"You don't realize until you get on top of the arrow line and (then you) realize you're in the wrong place," she said. "To sit there and watch that was beyond words. To see your own child in a car in front of you and be in an accident that could have been prevented."

Michael Bethea, of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, said they have gotten some calls about problems with this area and that they are looking in it.

He said the SCDOT is counting cars at peak times of the day and are looking to see if the area meets the volume needs for a signal or some other kind of change.

But he said residents should have been made aware of the pending traffic change when the pavement markings were changed before the median was removed.

Bethea said a decision will be made on any changes to this road pattern by Friday.