New business on busy road in Aiken

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Sept. 25, 2007

Aiken, S.C.--Drivers along Whiskey Road in Aiken will soon see more cars on the road. City leaders have a plan to fix the problem before it even starts. But could it make things worse?

It's a new Walgreens and it's going in right at the corner of Whiskey and Dougherty Roads. Janice Watkins travels Whiskey Road in Aiken 3 to 4 times a week. One word describes here trip each time: "terrible. It's hard to get in and out especially if you are on the other side of the road."

Tesheba Richardson agrees. Traffic is pretty bad right now on Dougherty Road.

"I can't imagine what it's going to be like once Walgreens gets in. It's probably going to get a lot worse than it is now," says Tesheba.

On Monday evening, Aiken City Council approved Walgreen's plans for the property. Right now, there are 34,000 trips a day through the intersection. When Walgreens opens up shop, that number increased 930 trips.

"It's at an F-Level which is the lowest rating during rush hour," says Councilman Dick Smith.

And that's right now. A center and right turning lane will be added to Dougherty Road. And a third lane will be added to Owens St. behind the proposed Walgreens to help with the traffic flow.

"It's by no means perfect," says Smith.

Janice thinks adding new lanes would only make the traffic worse.

"Why? Just so much traffic just too much traffic!"

Tesheba doesn't agree. The new lane on Dougherty Road would help her get out of work everyday.

"Two lanes would be better to widen it up especially when you get to the curves."

Eventually, Dick wants to see Dougherty Road add a center lane for it's length.

"That's the goal of Dougherty at some point. I would like to see it sooner rather than later."

"I just hope they improve the roads," says Tesheba.

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