GREENVILLE, SC – A hundred or more people trickled in and out of Roper Mountain Road Baptist Church on Thursday night, to meet with transportation officials about the future of traffic on Woodruff Road.
Project boards, maps, and a suggestion box were set up to help engage residents in possible solutions to the congestion.
Not everyone, however, was convinced that the problem is solvable.
“How in the world do they think they’re going to stop the mess they have created?” asked Greenville resident Jinny Johnston. “They let this happen by letting it grow wild. No one paid any attention to it while it ate us all up!”
Some came with questions and got the chance to meet with S.C. DOT personnel, and have their concerns answered in person.
Others had suggestions about how to help ease the congestion.
One proposal Johnston made, was to add traffic cops throughout the area.
“Maybe leave it in the long term so people know where they have to move and get out of the way,” she said.
The SCDOT told 7 News Thursday that some quick-fixes are on the way for Woodruff.
Officials say they hope to sync traffic lights within the next year, and plan to create a new 2-lane road from Woodruff Industrial to Verdae Blvd.
Bigger projects, however, will likely take much longer.
Several options were laid out on poster boards at the meeting, although officials said nothing was final.
The budget for a bigger project, according to Jonathan Chasteen of the SCDOT, is $34 million dollars with construction likely beginning in 2022.
Chasteen told residents now is the time to speak up about suggestions.
“This is a great opportunity for the public to say, ‘Yah, that doesn’t work… This will impact me like that… Can you do this instead?” he said.
A survey was recently given to residents, in which 4,100 people responded, Chasteen confirmed. Chasteen added that he hopes to compile suggestions and present a project proposal sometime this Spring or Summer.
In the meantime, traffic continues to grow on the busy, retail-lined street and many told 7 News they fear the traffic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“In the meantime I wait at the signal lights patiently!” said Greenville resident, Tal Cloud.