Letters to the Editor

Letter | Improve Carolina Forest Boulevard - or watch people continue to die in accidents

Re: “Ride-III set to move forward; CF wants voice.” (July 8).

Carolina Forest, an unincorporated community in Horry County, is the fastest growing section on the East Coast. Carolina Forest Boulevard is the main artery for dozens of subdivisions; elementary, middle and high-schools; numerous churches; medical/business complexes; post office; UPS Store; storage facility; fire station; library; recreation center; golf course; shopping centers; grocery stores; restaurants; gas stations, and more.

This doesn't account for the new development that’s pending and will impact Carolina Forest Boulevard, such as the Elizabeth Seaton Catholic high-school campus, expansion of elementary/middle schools, the 42.5-acre McLeod Health Center, the 475-acre subdivision The Villages @Huger Park, other new subdivisions, new churches and remaining unsold parcels.

The current population in Carolina Forest is thought to be over 30,000 - and growing rapidly.

Currently, 4.7 miles of the 6.2 miles of Carolina Forest Boulevard is a two-lane road with no median strip. This section of road is an accident waiting to happen.

A quick Internet search will yield the vast number of traffic accidents on the boulevard. Even though a few turn lanes have recently been added, traffic accidents continue to occur.

Morning and afternoon rush-hour includes a caravan of school buses from all three schools onto Carolina Forest Boulevard. With ongoing development in Carolina Forest, dump trucks, cement trucks and heavy equipment all frequent the boulevard. The combination of these heavy construction vehicles and the many school buses packed with children is a recipe for disaster.

Rear-end accidents are commonplace on because of vehicles turning into the many subdivisions.

A plan to widen Carolina Forest Boulevard to a multi-lane, divided highway is fairly far down on the list of road improvement priorities. Calls to widen it by local activists aren't so much about the massive traffic congestion – it’s about saving lives.

Having lived and worked in the Washington, DC, metro area with some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation, I can say first-hand that Carolina Forest Boulevard is one of the most dangerous roads in which I have ever traveled, hands down.

Therefore, I would strongly urge Horry County Council and Ride-III Commission to consider the unsafe driving conditions of the 4.7-mile stretch of the 6.2-mile Carolina Forest Boulevard when allocating highway funds.

Otherwise, blood from the high number of traffic accident victims on Carolina Forest Boulevard will be on your hands.

The writer lives in Carolina Forest.