Downtown Camden going on a "road diet"

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - A streetscaping project likely unlike any you've ever heard about is about to happen in downtown Camden. The area is going on what's called a "road diet."

On a fall day, downtown Camden may look just right. But if you ask the folks who run the place, there's a problem: Broad Street is living up to its name. "we needed to take it down from four lanes to two lanes so folks wouldn't feel the need to go get into their cars to go from one side of the road to another," said City Manager Kevin Brunson..

So the city applied for a grant to put the road on a diet, so to speak. "There really have been books written about it," said Brunson. "Road Diet, really it's just having to do with shrinking the road."

The sidewalks on either side of the road will soon be stretched out, trimming down four lanes to two.

But the project isn't just about beauty."Simultaneously while we're narrowing Broad Street, we're also working on a bypass so that the large trucks can take bypasses around Camden," said Brunson.

"A tractor trailer goes by every five, 10 minutes at least," said Jonathan Bazinet, who owns Sam Kendall's restaurant on Broad. "They really make a lot of noise and really it's dirty on the street, dust and whatnot."
Bazinet hopes the road diet will be just the ticket to beef up business. "The more walkable it is, the more attractive it's gonna be for people to come dine here," he said.

The town plans to cut back in hopes they'll grow forward.

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