UPDATE: Traffic Circle Plan

Yesterday, Lake and Main published an article saying the South Carolina Department of Transportation had rejected the Town of Lexington’s plan to construct a traffic circle at Lake Drive and Columbia Avenue.  Lexington Town Administrator Britt Poole contacted L&M with a correction to the story. Continue reading “UPDATE: Traffic Circle Plan”

Lexington Traffic Circle Nixed By SCDOT

 

The Town of Lexington’s proposal to build a traffic circle at the intersection of Columbia Ave/378 and Lake Drive has been rejected by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

 

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Intended to ease the growing flow of traffic onto and through Sunset Blvd and Lake Dr. that serves over 40,000 vehicles per day, the Town’s concept was a round-about at the intersection that included re-routing Dreher Street’s access to Lake Drive.

 

Although the Town is responsible for paying for and maintaining such improvements, SCDOT must approve them.  This was pointed out to citizens when the tax was introduced.  There were some who complained about the idea of a traffic circle/round-about at that location, but council members explained that it was only a concept that had to be studied and approved by the state.  That is exactly what happened.

SCDOT determined that, over time, the concept provided by the Town of Lexington would not sufficiently handle growing traffic volumes.  To make a circle/round-about work would require increasing the footprint of the construction which would necessitate the Town’s acquisition of private property (eminent domain).   According to a source familiar with the project, the Town will restudy plans and submit new ideas to SCDOT for approval.  

The proposal, along with two other intersection improvements was/are to be paid for by a 2% “hospitality tax” instituted by Town Council last year.  

The source did not say if there have been any changes to the two other projects.  These include the conversion of SC 6 (North/South Lake Drive) and North/South Church Street (S-32-91) into one-way street operation and upgrade the intersection of East Main Street at Harmon Street and Martel Drive and improving traffic flow through the Corley Mill Road and US 378 intersection which serves as the primary Gateway to the Town.

SCDOT has decided, however, that the Dreher Street/Harmon Street redirection will still be constructed to improve traffic flow and safety.

 

The State (Editorial): Lexington shouldn’t have to fix state problem

The State

We sympathize with Lexington Town Council members, who have faced criticism for taking steps to resolve what should be a state problem.

Faced with growing traffic congestion throughout the town, council members have given preliminary approval to adding a 2 percent tax on restaurant meals, take-out food and some snacks to fix three of the town’s most clogged up areas. Continue reading “The State (Editorial): Lexington shouldn’t have to fix state problem”

Lexington Mayor Highlights New Projects

(The State) A long-wanted facelift planned to draw new shoppers to downtown Lexington is starting, Mayor Steve MacDougall said Monday.

A series of projects is coming as part of an effort to revive the area around Main Street as a shopping hub designed to become home to specialty retailers and restaurants, he said.

Work on the package is beginning this spring after three years of preparation. The list includes:

• Developing an outdoor amphitheater at Main and Church streets, followed by the opening of stores around it. The plaza should be finished by Dec. 31. At 900 seats, it will be nearly twice the size first suggested. It will be the site for concerts and other activities.

• Reducing road congestion on Main Street, Columbia Avenue and Lake Drive through a network of signals run by cameras and digital technology. Motorists should have an easier commute – particularly during rush hours – by Dec. 31, if not sooner.

• Putting up signs for local landmarks such as the Lexington County Museum, parks and walking trails. Those paths will be extended to add a mile around the Old Mill Pond next to a former textile mill that’s now a shopping mall.

“These projects speak volumes of how our pro-active, progressive, forward-looking vision and planning is continuing to create a wonderful, vibrant, livable community,” MacDougall said in his annual State of the Town speech.

MacDougall is overseeing a plan developed while he was a town councilman.

Steadily growing Lexington is home to 20,000 residents, the latest census estimates say. That makes it the largest municipal neighbor of nearby Columbia.

 

Opinion: Too Much Commercial Development? Poll

This article was originally posted on January 23, 2015

Lexington is booming.  lt has been for years.  It wasn’t that long ago when there was open space between Columbia and downtown Lexington.  No more.  The two are now connected by strip malls, car dealerships, banks, fast food joints, grocery stores, mattress shops and other commercial enterprises.

The result is economic development that is both a blessing and a curse.

Continue reading “Opinion: Too Much Commercial Development? Poll”