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‘There’s no shortcut off the island’

By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye News

The Isle of Palms Police Department is increasing its efforts to keep motorists from dealing with traffic jams on Palm Boulevard by speeding through the side streets that run parallel to the island’s main thoroughfare. According to City Administrator Desiree Fragoso, the Department has dedicated two police officers to traffic enforcement and set up signs that tell drivers how fast they are traveling throughout the island – especially on the narrow streets north of Palm. Fragoso said the areas of greatest concern are Hartnett and Cameron boulevards, which cross 22nd through 41st avenues between Palm and Waterway boulevards. “We typically have complaints from the residents,” she commented. “People think they can go through the avenues. Frankly, it’s a problem anywhere on the island, but particularly in that middle section of our community.” Anywhere on IOP, if the speed limit is not posted, it is 30 mph. “The Public Safety Committee has started to have conversations about reducing the speed limit in interior streets. Even 30 feels very fast when you look at some of our narrow avenues,” Fragoso said. She added that motorists leaving Palm and speeding down Hartnett or Cameron isn’t a new problem that was created by the parking problems that have plagued the island since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. “I think we’ve always had this issue. There’s always been a mass exodus after a storm, with everybody trying to get off the island. But I feel like it’s been a little more pronounced this summer,” she said. She concluded that using the side streets to bypass the Palm Boulevard traffic to get to the Isle of Palms Connector, Front Beach or the other side of the island really isn’t a prudent plan. In other words, it doesn’t work. 

“There’s no shortcut off the island,” the city administrator said.

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