GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – A proposed project in Greer could reduce the number of lanes along West Poinsett Street near downtown.

“It’s one of the main thoroughfares through downtown,” said city engineer Steve Grant. “It carries about 12,000 vehicles per day.”

West Poinsett Street is currently a four-lane road, with two lanes going in each direction, but leaders said that could soon change to make the area safer.

Grant said officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation were planning to repave the road in 2023.

“Our goal is to cut down on crashes, but also improve the traffic flow into the city,” said Grant.

They’ve proposed a road diet along West Poinsett from North Main to Middleton Way. One of the driving factors behind the project is a high number of crashes in the area.

“Over the last 5 years, there’s been 264 crashes, which is an average of about one crash per week,” said Grant.

Grant said a traffic study found reducing the number of lanes could make the area easier to navigate.

“Primarily because of the way the road is striped now with four lanes, two lanes going in each direction, the overwhelming majority of the crashes were sideswipes, rear ends, and angle crashes,” said Grant.

The project would turn this portion of West Poinsett from a four lane road, into two through lanes with a center turn lane.

“That will take a away a lot of the swerving and the changing of lanes when people turn in front of you,” said Grant.

It’s similar to the lane reduction project completed along North Main Street.

“The way Main Street is, downtown, it’s fantastic,” said James Grossman, who manages the Greer Florist Shop on West Poinsett Street. “It has slowed the people down so there won’t be as many accidents, there won’t be all these clogged intersections.”

Grossman said he’s planning to attend a meeting Wednesday night to learn more about the project, ask questions, and share his thoughts with city leaders.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, what about the impact to the business and is it going to slow us down?'” said Grossman.

He thinks reducing the lanes is a good idea and is hopeful construction will be worth it when the project is finished.

“The end result is beautiful and it’s safer. It’s much easier to navigate safely with that middle lane, so I think it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Grossman.

On Wednesday, people can stop by city hall between 5 and 7 p.m. for a drop in meeting. People will be able to talk with city leaders, learn more about the project, and share their thoughts.

Grant said SCDOT will bid the project early next year and said work could start by the summer. He said it will take a few weeks for crews to re-pave the road, let it cure, and then they’ll be able to paint the new lane changes.

If people are unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting, they can send a comment to city engineers by emailing sgrant@cityofgreer.org through December 17, 2022.