Area Citizens Give Their Opinions To SCDOT On Hwy 276 Lane Reductions And Paving Project
Travelers Rest Monitor video clip from the November 30th public meeting with SCDOT. Video By Roger Jewell
A public informational meeting was conducted at Slater Hall in the Slater-Marietta community on November 30th. The meeting was held to receive public opinion on a proposal from the Greenville County Planning Commission to reduce the four lanes of Highway 276 to two lanes for vehicular traffic plus a bike lane representing an extension of the Swamp Rabbit rail trail and a turning lane. Approximately two hundred people attended the meeting while members of the planning commission were no where to be seen.
"We moved up here for a reason," one citizen said during the meeting. "We moved up here because we because we don't want to be Travelers Rest. We know how it was before it went to two lanes. We know how hard it is to get through there trying to get to work. These are not fool proof people. We are mountain people and we don't want this."
The woman's statement brought cheers from the large crowd of citizens.
Brandon Wilson, SCDOT District 3 Engineer, assured the crowd that SCDOT will be putting citizens' comments and input together in summaries over the next two weeks. He explained SCDOT traffic count studies revealed 11,000 vehicles travel from White Horse Road Extension to Hwy 288 along Highway 276 daily. "SCDOT feels two lanes for traffic with a turning lane and a bike lane can easily handle that volume."
Wilson said the lane reduction proposal is not a done deal. He said citizens' input on that proposal will determine the outcome. Wilson also added, the repaving of Highway 276 will be done and that project will begin in January when contractors are selected. He said the completion of the project is believed to be completed by January, 2023. The repaving will include the stretch of Hwy 276 from Chestnut Ridge Road down to White Horse Road Extension.
The comment period on the proposed project spans two weeks, after that time SCDOT and the Planning Commission will make a decision.
The Marietta Manners Facebook group has posted links to a change.org petition that residents can sign against the project. Over 100 signatures have been signed as of Thursday. Comments can also be made on the petition. Some of those comments include: "I am opposed to two lanes, keep it four lanes." "This is the most absurd proposition I've ever heard. Keep the bicycles on the trail that was made for them and leave traffic to those who pay taxes. Two lanes would be an absolute disaster for the volume of vehicles of vehicles traveling Highway 276.
The Greenville County Planning Commission held several meetings across Greenville County in 2019-2020. The meeting for the Slater-Marietta meeting revealed attendees wanted the following in a growth and development plan for transportation: Pursue Scenic Highway Designation for Highway 276; Advocate the Resurfacing and Restriping of State Roads and Pursue Funding; Investigate the feasibility of a Road Diet (lane reduction) and Traffic Circles on Highway 276; Perform a Traffic Count Study for Major roads within the Study Area; Work with the Sheriff's Office and Highway Patrol to set up regular monitoring and enforcement (speed cameras/trailers) along major thoroughfares; Work with County Engineering and Maintenance to Re-establish ditches and control sediment and runoff where needed; Implement traffic calming measures around Slater-Marietta Elementary School; Bring back the School Crossing Guard at Slater-Marietta Elementary; Improve the intersection of Highway 276 and Dacusville Road and Ingress/Engress for Businesses for added safety (Dollar General, Subway, etc); Upgrade and extend existing sidewalks along Highway 276 and Slater Road; Add additional parking near Slater-Marietta Elementary School, Jimi Turner Park and Slater-White Field.
Approximately 48 citizens attended the Planning Commission 2019-2020 meetings. Citizens attending the November 30th meeting said they were not informed of the past Planning Commission meetings. The Travelers Rest Monitor did not receive any public notices from the Planning Commission concerning those earlier planning meetings.
Members of the Greenville County Planning Commission are appointed by Greenville County Council and include the following members: STEVEN BICHEL, chairman, represents Greenville County Council District 21, contact 864-288-2023; John Bailey, vice chairman, represents District 23, contact 864-787-5296; JAY ROGERS, represents District 22, contact 864-373-2216; FRANK HAMMOND, represents District 24, contact 864-270-0761; CINDY CLARK, represents District 17 contact 864-569-8153; METZ LOOPER, represents District 19, contact 864-230-1900; MILTON SHOCKLEY, represents District 21 contact 864-241-8200; ELLIS FOREST, represents District 22, contact 864-214-4977.