SCDOT conducting traffic safety audit on Morrison Drive

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Transportation is conducting a traffic safety audit on Morrison Drive, according to officials this week.

Morrison Dr. is a popular spot for runners, walkers, and bicyclists heading to the Ravenel Bridge pedestrian and bike path.

However, other than the intersection at Cooper and East Bay Streets, there are few safe opportunities to cross the busy four-lane road.

“Obviously it’s nice having the pedestrian stuff on the bridge here, but I don’t always feel like cars are paying attention,” said Adam Susel who was exercising in the area.

Drivers heading north on Morrison will now notice a newly placed speed limit sign alerting them to how fast they’re driving. Its not far from the bike lane where Charleston Police said two 20-year-old women were walking when they were hit and killed in April.

News 2 reached out to SCDOT who said speed limit signs are a short-term safety improvement while they perform a traffic safety audit in the corridor.

“Safety audits are typically data driven so the data clearly shows that its needed,” said James Wallace, a Transportation Project Manager for the City of Charleston.

Wallace said there are approved plans for a pedestrian cross signal at Johnson Street and Morrison Dr., but they are still waiting for the traffic volumes to meet federal warrants before it can be installed.

“It’s just good to have an option for pedestrians to cross the road, where traffic stops and is controlled instead of uncontrolled crossings where you’re more relying on the pedestrian to look for a clear gap in traffic to cross the road,” Wallace shared.

As the study gets underway, the people who walk, run, and bike the road hope their voices are taken into consideration.

“They definitely should factor in I guess how the local residents feel about it as well rather than just hard numbers of, you know, how many accidents are there or something like that,” Susel said.

Charleston has other bike and pedestrian improvement projects underway throughout various parts of the city including Meeting Street Road and the West Ashley Greenway, according to Wallace.

Meanwhile, DOT said they expect to have the audit wrapped up at the end of June and will have more to report at that time.

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Author: Jordan Cioppa