Parents want changes to dangerous intersection near Irmo school

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

IRMO, SC (WIS) - Some Irmo parents are upset over what they call a dangerous intersection after several accidents near Oak Pointe Elementary. One crash just happened on Thursday morning.

"Our children are scared to death that they or their friends and teachers are going to be hurt," wrote Kimberly Davis. "There have been several assessments done and the latest report said that no changes other than additional signage should be made."

The intersection of Hollingshed and Riverbottom roads makes parents uneasy. "the fear is what could happen," said Patrick Cobb, who chairs the Oak Pointe Elementary School Improvement Council.
Parents are concerned about problems near the school where their children go to class every day. People aren't stopping, they're not taking their time," said PTO President Heather Woods.

Cobb and Woods say there was an accident in the area Thursday morning involving three cars, and there have been several others in the past few weeks. Now they want something done.

Principal Jim Stephens says the school's population has grown in its five years of existence, which has led to more traffic -- especially in the morning. "We need someone to respond to that increase in traffic," said Stephens.

Cobb says he worked to get this yield sign and school speed sign posted last spring, but Stephens and Woods say it's not stopping the problem. "There is a yield sign where someone would have to stop to yield to a left hand turn, but in the same intersection, there is a lane that comes straight through," said Stephens.

"People aren't necessarily following it," said Woods. "They're either coming to a full and complete stop then you don't need to, and you're not sure who has the right of way is what it comes down to."

"Ultimately we'd love to see a stop light there," said Cobb.

Woods agrees that something needs to be done, but doesn't think a light would solve the problem. "I would like to see a crossing guard present or a police officer of some sort," she said. "Something that would be a visible sign that the parents need to slow down and to be observant of what is going on around them."

Officials with the Department of Transportation said they are looking into the complaints. Over the next few weeks, they will be pulling accident history and getting updated traffic counts. If there is a change that needs to be made, they will make that decision after their study is done.

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