Summerville considering roundabout at Five Points intersection

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville is considering converting an intersection where dozens of accidents happened within a two-year span into a roundabout.

It's the intersection with Carolina Avenue, Main Street and Tupper Lane.

Town officials say there have been 60 crashes and 13 injuries between 2015 and 2017.

The Town Engineer and Public Works Director, Russ Cornette, presented one lane roundabout options to the Public Works Committee earlier this month.

In those plans, Tupper Lane would not have access to the roundabout and would be turned into a cul-de-sac. This would allow the roundabout to have four entry and exit points.

The committee has requested a two-lane roundabout proposal.

There’s also another proposal being considered to add turn lanes instead of the roundabout.

The estimated cost of the projects are between $830,000 and $875,000.

Cornette is expected to give them an update on plans at a meeting in May.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections because they force slower speeds and that national studies show they reduce total crashes by 35 percent, injury crashes by 75 percent and fatal crashes by 90 percent.

Based on an evaluation of 12 single-lane roundabouts in use since 2011, total crashes were reduced 66% and injury and fatal crashes were reduced 79% and 100%, respectively, according to the SCDOT website.

Lisa Duffey commutes in the area and supports a roundabout.

“I like the roundabouts I think that they control traffic well," Duffey said. "There is one that was installed in Summer’s Corner by my daughters junior high and I think it does wonders for keeping everybody in line and keeping traffic going smoothly.”

Jan and Barbara Morton also support the idea and travel in the area.

“I think it’s an absolutely fantastic idea my son lived in London," Jan said. "I used roundabouts a lot they’re wonderful. You don’t have head on collisions, you don’t have to stop if there’s no traffic, it moves better.”

There were also several people who opposed the project, they did not want to be interviewed on camera.

Some people who live in houses near the intersection say they don’t support the idea of a roundabout and they’re worried about it taking up some of their property.

The plans are still in the beginning stages.

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