CHS City Council discuss improvements to Savannah Hwy, parking on King Street

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – City officials say they are reviewing this improvement project along Savannah Highway because of the constant growth in the area. The Charleston City Council also discussed parking and towing along King Street at Tuesday’s meeting.

Charleston city leaders are looking to make upgrades to Savannah Highway through the Savannah Highway Capacity and Intersection Improvement Project.

“The purpose of this project is to improve traffic flow,” project manager Sunshine Trakas said, “safety and pedestrian access at key intersections.”

Those key intersections include DuPont Road and Stinson Drive, Wappoo Road and Magnolia and Avondale Roads.

“We presented those intersections last year through an online public information meeting,” Trakas said, “and that was in August and September of last year.”

And they received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community.

“There were 94 percent of the public who were in support of the project,” Trakas said, “and no objection to the project.”

Improvements to the intersections would include new traffic lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks, as well as realigning certain roads.

“We wanted to make sure we improve safety for both vehicles and pedestrians,” Trakas said. “We wanted to create more connectivity for pedestrians, all while minimizing our right-of-way impacts.”

Following the presentation, the city’s Parking Services director, Tyrone Lawrence, provided councilmembers with an update on the recently-implemented towing initiative for vehicles parked on King Street Thursday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

“Since February 9TH,” Lawrence said, “33 tows, which is very minimal. So, we’re averaging four to five tows per night.”

Lawrence says prior to towing, they received very little compliance from drivers. He says they were writing nearly 100 tickets for illegally parked cars per night. Now, they’re going to continue enforcing towing because it has been effective at keeping King Street clear.

“Out of the 80 spaces,” Lawrence said, “at least 70 to 80 percent at six o’clock are vacant. So, we take advantage of that and place cones in those spaces to prevent anyone from parking once the space has been vacated.”

Lawrence says they have seen an increase in parking violations on side streets, which has resulted in 59 cars being towed since February 9TH.

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Author: Kevon Dupree