Ann Campbell 
Member since Jan 9, 2009


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Re: “Public meetings begin comment period on Mark Clark extension

I have lived on both both John's and James Is. In my view, there are many reasons that I526 (aka Mark Clark) SHOULD NOT BE EXTENDED across those two fragile barrier islands. First, 526 would NOT be compatible with the rural designation of Johns Island; and already overbuilt James Island would suffer severe disruption of significant coomunity amenities, i.e. the James Island County Park and the Municipal Golf Course. Also, some 90-110 acres of wetlands will be filled during construction and paved with an impervious surface, creating substantial storm water runoff, further desecrating econ-systems and wildlife habitats in the surrouonding wetlands. (No more oyster roasts at Bowen's Ialand?)
Second, many new homes have been built within the last five yesrs in precisely the areas that would be impacted by the construction, perhaps giving rise to numerous justified lawsuits.
Third, even partial sacrifice of the James Island Park for this project is ridiculous. Does it make sense to decrase green space just when the population is expanding? NO. Is our priority cars over people? I would hope not.
Four, additional lighting would add to light pollution and further harm the skyline. Stars, once so obvious, are even now no longer visible, and animals such as sea turtles that use them for navigation are harmed and lost. All for what gain?
Five, County studies show traffic will actually worsen, encouraging MORE growth on both islands, espcially Johns, as population growth follows roads. (See studies re. following path of Mark Clark and others.) Moreover, interstates divide communities, and interfere with normal patterns of human interaction. Not that Mt. Pleasant hasn't done a good job, but do people on Johns Island wish to be another Mt. Pleasant?
Six, Where will the traffic go from James Island? Will the Peninsula be prepared?
Seven, The idea the road is needed for hurricanes should not enter into this argument. Roads are not the problem; people are. Today there is sufficient warning for everyone to leave in a timely manner. Better people management is the answer, not roads. And what if 526 is built across the islands... the people will still be stuck on I26 and Hwy 17.

One final comment... everyone should remember that, once started, the traffic flow - and the (taxpayers) money flow - will only increase. Longer/wider roads bring more cars which bring more people, ad nasuem. Four lanes grow to six, that become eight, until entire areas become giant grid-locked parking lots.
THIS DECISION IS NOT SIMPLY ABOUT ROADS. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF LIFE.

As Joni Mitch sang :
"You don't know 'til it's gone, what you've got,
They are paving over Paradise to put up a parking lot...
- "The Big Yellow Taxi"

Do the people of Charleston want to keep this Paradise intact? Or let it be torn up and tarred?
Think hard. Once made, the decision is irreversible.
- Ann Campbell

Posted by Ann Campbell on January 9, 2009 at 5:27 PM
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