New era? Locals debate benefits, downsides of Carolina Forest Boulevard traffic light
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
Some Carolina Forest residents say it's the beginning of a new, more congested era for Carolina Forest Boulevard (CFB).
A new traffic light at the intersection of CFB and Revolutionary War Way was turned on earlier this week, slightly delaying some travelers, especially during rush hour.
"Everyone's just going to take a little while, get used to it, and then hopefully the traffic flow will be good," Carolyn Stefanchik said.
The light cost nearly $125,000 and was paid for by the Horry County School District.
Parents and some district staff say without it, leaving Ten Oaks Middle School would be nearly impossible, especially when trying to turn left.
They argue that school buses carrying students would be delayed, and any students trying to walk home wouldn't be able to cross the street safely.
"You're going to have problems with the buses, problem getting the kids into the school, problems getting the kids out of the school, getting buses out of the school," former teacher Debbie Oberlin said. "With the light, you have enough time to get those buses out at one time."
The light arrives as the county is preparing to widen CFB as part of the Ride III project, a series of upgrades and improvements to county transportation infrastructure.
The widening project is third on the website list, and currently in the design phase.
Eventually, Revolutionary War Way is expected to be connected to Highway 31, giving the area another outlet and turning the street into a major road.
On Thursday morning, Horry County officials said there should be improvements in the flow of the traffic in this area by the end of the week.
The full statement from Kelly Brosky said:
There should be improvements in traffic flow towards the end of this week as the detection loops (in-pavement) are tested and fine-tuned to ensure that they are operating correctly (actuated traffic signal timing).
Typically, traffic around all schools in Horry County is always busier the first couple of weeks of school until everybody gets used to the new traffic patterns and each school's pickup / drop-off procedures; over the past few years, we've noticed that school traffic has tended to settle into a routine pattern shortly after Labor Day -- I expect that the same will hold true for traffic associated with the new middle school on Carolina Forest Blvd.
As part of the design for the Carolina Forest Blvd widening project (Ride 3), a traffic study will be completed to determine if any of the other major intersections along this road are projected to meet criteria (warrants) for installation of a new traffic signal (with the widened roadway in place).