GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — In March, the city of Greenville reduced the number of lanes on Augusta Street in an effort to make it safer for drivers and pedestrians.
The “road diet” was designed to cut the four-lane street to three lanes, with one lane in each direction and a turning lane in the middle.
“When we had the two lanes on each side, somebody was always next to you because the lanes were so narrow,” said Dale Spencer, the manager of Advance Tire & Auto Service.
“Before, people were bumper to bumper coming off of Maudlin Road or coming the other way from downtown,” added Eric Brockman, the owner of The Tailor Shop. “They would run up on each other. I’ve seen wrecks out there trying to get into the parking lot and whatnot.”
This change also gives pedestrians more room to walk on the side of Augusta Street.
The city of Greenville and traffic engineering consulting firm Stantec studied how the change affected traffic.
During a recent meeting, they released their findings. They found that people were driving two to five miles per hour slower. Average travel times increased by 10 to 50 seconds during peak periods during the morning and night.
“It does take a little bit longer to go down the street,” said Brock Meadows, the manager of 4Rooms. “But, I also think we’ve had fewer wrecks. It slows people down a little bit, which I think helps.”
People who work along Augusta Street told 7NEWS they welcome these changes.
“It helps my business,” said Brockman.
“Having that turn lane for either direction whether you’re going North or southbound helps with turning in,” added Meadows. “It also helps with my trucking companies, especially. It’s easier for them to get in and out of my parking lot as well.”
The city of Greenville said it is considering making additional changes, including widening sidewalks, resurfacing streets and improving lighting.