I recently read another comment regarding the widening of Hitchcock Parkway, and then it dawned on me. 

Those who want to widen Hitchcock Parkway are kidding themselves. They opine that it will reduce congestion and improve on the time it takes them to get from the Silver Bluff and Pine Log Road junction to the S.C. 118 bypass and U.S. 1 junction. I recently drove the S.C. 118 bypass in both directions, starting at Hickory Ridge. I deliberately drove at the posted speed limits. It took me a little more than 10 minutes to reach U.S. 1, and an additional 5 minutes to reach Aiken Regional Hospital stopping at two stop lights. 

It again took me about 15 minutes to get back home. Think ahead people.

The City Council voted to set the speed limit on the proposed roadway at 45 mph. In essence, that action actually reduced the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph on that portion of the road from just past Aiken Elementary School’s Rheinhart Way exit, most of the remaining way to to U.S. 1. 

The new roadway expansion, in addition to making it an ugly road with sound barriers, lack of trees, sidewalks that, in my 20-plus years of using the current road on a frequent basis, have seen less than 10 people use, will also require additional safety features.

For example: it will necessitate the installation of from 3-5 additional traffic lights. 

The first, at the Hickory Ridge Road and Oriole Street; the second, at the Aiken Elementary School (Rheinhart Way) exit onto the bypass; the third at the entrance to the New Covenant Church; the fourth, at the new housing development at Cornerstone Drive; and at the Cold Creek Nursery/Biddle Road intersection. Boy, this whole debacle smacks of another governmental, “Look at me, I’m the project manager, and this project will be done my way” and “let’s spend a lot of money” with questionable improvement on the situation. 

And to you people who complain that it is making your travel more difficult, leave earlier; stop tailgating and speeding. Slow down and live longer.

Richard Wilson