Obey the rules at the North Shore and Harborview for everyone’s safety

by Nancy Hadley

If you live on the Eastern end of James Island, you probably drive on Harborview Road every day.  If so you have probably noticed the changes at North Shore Drive.  It is now ILLEGAL to turn left from North Shore Drive onto Harborview Road.  It is also ILLEGAL to turn left onto North Shore from Harborview.

This should not be a surprise to anybody.  It has been in the offing for years and was much discussed in newspapers, public meetings, charrettes, etc.  This dangerous intersection was one of the major impetuses for the entire Harborview Road improvement project.  And regardless of whether you personally think it is an improvement, you need to obey these new rules.  Yes, YOU!

There seem to be many drivers who don’t think these rules apply to them.  They get to the end of North Shore drive and go to absurd lengths to drive around the barriers so that they can turn left onto Harborview Road, risking not only their own lives but also the lives of others, including me.

I don’t appreciate this, and it scares the living daylights out of me.  You are being arrogant and lazy and you are going to kill somebody.  Please stop.  Nobody should be in such a big hurry that they are willing to risk lives rather than take the detour which this new traffic pattern requires.

The culprits are not just James Island residents either.  Residents report seeing mail trucks perform this illegal maneuver.  And James Island PSD trucks.  Fortunately it was not a garbage truck which might not even be able to make that turn.

If you observe this dangerous behavior, please report it!  If you are indulging in this dangerous behavior, please stop!  The person you kill may be your neighbor.

Here is a photo of the intersection at North Shore and Harborview. (we are standing across Harborview looking at North Shore).  Note the clearly marked turn only lane, the barriers attempting to prevent turns, and one barrier lying on the side of the road where a car mowed it down! 
Here is a photo of the intersection at North Shore and Harborview. (we are standing across Harborview looking at North Shore).  Note the clearly marked turn only lane, the barriers attempting to prevent turns, and one barrier lying on the side of the road where a car mowed it down!

Nancy Hadley is a marine biologist with the SC Department of Natural Resources where she heads up the Shellfish Management Program. 

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4 thoughts on “Obey the rules at the North Shore and Harborview for everyone’s safety

  1. Thank you for a well written article and bringing this to the attention of everybody. I agree, it is a serious issue and somebody is bound to get hurt or killed if it doesn’t stop.

  2. Drivers new to the area, and for some may not have come that way in a while, may well be trapped by the new changes and find themselves with no way to anticipate how to find a safe way to turn left BEFORE they get to the intersection. As far as I know, there is no sign warning or advising drivers that those who need to turn left on Harbor View Road MUST turn on right on Ft. Sumter Drive and go to the light to do so. And then of course, for those leaving a local watering hole, even that may not be enough. But you have to start somewhere. Otherwise, for the reasons mentioned in the article, the intersection will actually be more dangerous than it was before. I NEVER recall a serious accident there before. People now find themselves deep into the intersection with no way to back up or turn around and take matters into their on hands.

    With all the people moving to and visiting the Island these days, many will somehow find themselves heading toward that intersection for the first time, and the very least Charleston County can do is forewarn them early on they MUST turn right on Ft. Sumter and go to light to turn left on Harbor View. I’m sure the people who live on Ft. Sumter will little appreciate this. But turning right on James or Waites to turn left on Harbor View is almost as unsafe as turning left off North Shore.

    I will not go on a rant about how dull I think some who design road “improvements” can be. In fact, I won’t even mention it. Hopefully someone in a position to consider this suggestion will do the obvious and implement it. Or come up with an even better solution. But even though I am sure they can read, I cannot be sure they read the Bugle, or have the inclination to be second guessed. But I am an expert when it comes to the fastest and safest way to get around on the Island, and to avoid the boondoggle that Folly Road has become. It comes from 50 years of experience in needing to do so in emergent situation.

  3. Oh please, you obviously did not travel the length of Harborview going to and from work. I witnessed several accidents at Northshore over 20 years and there were many others.
    Check police records. The only people coming off Northshore, aside from residents who are well aware of the change, are those wishing to get ahead of traffic on Harborview and those using this neighborhood to avoid Folly Road traffic from their own neighborhoods far away, and they are well aware of where they are going. These are neighborhood roads, not state highways for mass transit. Cutting through neighborhoods is dangerous and inconsiderate to residents who live there. The least you can do is obey signs and barriers directing proper traffic flow.

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