South Carolina City Wants To Take Over Dangerous Road

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina city wants to take over a heavily trafficked state road so it can have more say in safety improvements.

Greenville City Council unanimously approved a resolution this month asking the state to turn over ownership of 3.2 miles (5.2 kilometers) of Augusta Street, The Post and Courier reported.

The street has four narrow lanes with no turn lanes and sidewalks jammed close to the curb. The push to change ownership started with a traffic safety study after an SUV hit and killed a woman and her dog on a sidewalk in May.

One idea prevalent in public comments on the safety plan is reducing the number of lanes on the road — a project that would be much easier to start if the city controlled the street.

“We’re constantly hitting blockades because this is state-owned,” City Councilwoman Dorothy Dowe said. "And there’s so many neighborhoods that I think would be helped if we take it.”

The city said the results of the traffic safety study approved days after the May pedestrian death should be released next month.

“It’s gotten to a point where we feel like if the city were to own this road, there’s a lot of benefits to us being able to control how improvements get implemented, the schedule for doing so,” interim City Engineer Clint Link said.

The city owning the road would also help with economic development in the thriving neighborhoods, Greenville Mayor Knox White said.

The city has only come out ahead in these kind of transactions before, White said.

“The funny thing is, you look back now and you look at those lists, and it’s like no one would suggest we give it back to the state,” he said. “It’s only been a good thing. I don’t think we’ll ever regret doing it.”