The recent passage of S-40 has made clear to all the barrier islands and particularly the Isle of Palms that island residents are only the custodians of the beaches. Interestingly, custodian has multiple meanings. One is the guardian and the other is the person who cleans up the facility. The clear message in S-40 is; the State Highway Department will dictate the rules and IOP residents will push the broom and take out the trash, literally. Traffic leaving the beach has become increasingly bad and recently has reached truly troublesome and dangerous proportions practically every day of the week. The back up on Saturday, without an accident or other impediment, had cars taking two plus hours to travel Palm Boulevard to then sit 45 minutes on the Connector. As a result, cars started looking for shortcuts resulting in dozens of cars speeding though the neighborhoods and down Waterway Boulevard. A call to the Isle of Palms Police about the situation resulted in being told that there was not enough manpower to address these issues as all officers were full engaged. The legislature has spoken, now the State needs to act and respond to the facts on the ground. It is time to send additional traffic management resources to the barrier islands, as is done in Clemson and Columbia during football Saturdays. Major intersections should be manned and lane manipulation instituted by some of the myriad law enforcement agencies that seem to be clearly available in the fall. This would expedite traffic flow, reduce the dangerous behavior of frustrated drivers and allow local police to address concerns other than traffic flow.
If beach access means 4 hours on the beach and 3 hours in traffic, S-40 was a Pyrrhic victory for the beach access advocates.
Isle of Palms