ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Growth can bring a lot of good things to cities and having the infrastructure to do it can prevent a lot of frustrations for residents.
Last year, the population in Anderson County was nearly 207,000 people, and by 2026, the county is projected to grow to around 220,000 residents.
“People are not going to stop moving here. They are not. Because you can almost see them coming on a daily basis,” said Anderson County Manager Rusty Burns.
Burns said there’s already traffic issues in some parts of Anderson.
“The county alone has 1,500 miles of roads. That is more roads than some countries, ” Burns said.
With thousands more people expected to be in the area, the county is planning to make some changes to the roads.
“You have to do different things that you haven’t done before like roundabouts. I know when the first roundabout came about people thought it was a Martian plan to disrupt peoples lives but, you know, they’ve had roundabouts in Europe for 800 years,” Burns said.
The county said those roundabouts will be in high development parts of town.
“They really do make a difference, are they the ideal solution in every case? No, they’re not. But in some cases they are,” Burns said.
They’re also focusing on adding more public transit routes and connectors to those pathways, but the county said more has to be done.
“You are never going to cure the whole problem with buses, but you’re going to have to have a mix of things, whether its ride sharing or van pooling, or things along those lines because you’re never going to take that many number of cars off the road,” Burns said.
County managers said they also hope to add more pathways for bikers and walkers by using less traveled on four-lane highways, reducing them to two, and using the extra lanes for pedestrians.
Anderson County officials said they’ve already started to work on road improvements, slowly, hoping to have everything done by the time the population increases.