Greenville's North Main Street Going On "Road Diet" - WSPA.com

Greenville's North Main Street Going On "Road Diet"

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Greenville City leaders are putting the four lane ‘North Main Street’ on a "road diet." That means it will soon be two lanes from Ashley to Rutherford road. Greenville City leaders are putting the four lane ‘North Main Street’ on a "road diet." That means it will soon be two lanes from Ashley to Rutherford road.
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Greenville City leaders are putting the four lane ‘North Main Street' on a "road diet." That means it will soon be two lanes from Ashley to Rutherford road.

It's a new push to crack down on speeders and deadly wrecks along this road.

Playing with your kids in the front yard should be a rite of passage, but for mother, Virginia James, she stays on edge. Her lawn butts up to North Main.

The state run highway runs straight through this residential neighborhood and its one of the main arteries from Downtown to North Greenville.

"People just use this street as a cut through and they can fly," said James.

She said it is much faster over the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour. 7 On Your Side's Addie Hampton looked at the most recent traffic study. 85% of cars travel 15 miles over the speed limit.

James said it gets worse when it's dark.

"We hear, even in the middle of the night, we hear people screeching because there are hills and certain places you can't see. We hear people all the time," she said.

In less than two years, this roughly 3 mile stretch has seen two deadly wrecks and speeds creeping higher and higher.

"The problems aren't getting better," said Councilwoman Amy Ryberg Doyle.

The solution, according to Doyle, is to shrink the street from 4 lanes to 2, while keeping the tree lined median.

"One lane North and one lane South. A bike lane and then a safety shoulder," she explained.

For a $125,000 price tag, the City will design and re-stripe the road accordingly, with the hopes that drivers will be forced to slow down.

"We are trying to make it safe,” she said.

Critics haven't been pleased, calling on more police enforcement, rather than the drastic measures of reducing the roads.

For mom, Virginia James, the solution is simple.

"You got to slow down, this is a neighborhood too and you don't want somebody driving 45 in your neighborhood," she said

East North Street and West Washington are two other Greenville roads that have been put on a diet. Since their “reduction,” the city said speeding has been drastically reduced.

The City of Greenville Public Works Department says they hope to have the project completed by Thanksgiving this year. Cross walks and sidewalks lining the entire street are part of future plans. 

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Addie Hampton
Addie is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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