The recent editorial supporting locating a University of South Carolina Beaufort branch on Office Park Road seems logical, but unfortunately, was based on misinformation and faulty reasoning.
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Stating absence of summer school would alleviate tourist “high season” traffic through Sea Pines Circle is simply wrong. Contrary to common opinion, S.C. Department of Transportation data reveal equivalent traffic counts March through October with regular weekend decreases.
This site will impose the same bunched traffic burden (200-300 cars/day each way) as the ill-fated Coligny plan on the already frequently-overloaded circle, but also produces far worse traffic congestion entering or leaving Office Park Road. Traffic exiting to Pope Avenue would require a lengthy traffic light, likely backing vehicles into and freezing the circle.
Even worse would be the impact on Greenwood Drive in an area already experiencing dangerous conditions entering and exiting the other end of Office Park Road near Park Plaza. This critical intersection straddles the major route in and out of Sea Pines, by far the largest residential and tourist area on Hilton Head.
Turning left from Greenwood towards Park Plaza or left from Office Park towards Sea Pines is already often problematical. The predictable surging class change traffic would probably necessitate a traffic light at that intersection. Even without USCB traffic, a light could back up incoming Greenwood traffic to the circle and would surely obstruct Sea Pines exiting traffic back beyond the nearby guard gate. Any future school expansion would only make things worse! Traffic issues must be analyzed and resolved before developing another (25th?) wasteful, expensive and unacceptable tax increment financing plan.
Hilton Head Island