News 12 at 6 o'clock, Sept. 27, 2007
AIKEN, S.C.---A meeting over expanding Silver Bluff Road in Aiken tonight brought out more than 350 people. South Carolina DOT wants to expand the road from 2 to 4 lanes.
Sally Barrett just moved into this community in Aiken a year and a half ago. Her backyard is along Silver Bluff Road. She and her husband built a shed, added a garden and cleaned up this tree house. But if highway planners have their way, this backyard could be part of a road.
"We're disappointed because we were retiring and thought we were going to have a peaceful life here," says Sally.
Right now, there are only 2 lanes on Silver Bluff Road between Richardson Lake Road and Indian Creek Trail. 4 lanes would help the traffic flow in the area.
"Listen...no traffic," says neighbor William Busser.
William says the only time traffic is high is in the morning and late afternoon hours. He thinks more lanes behind his house would mean more traffic on the whole road. So he started a petition against the expansion. Over 450 people have signed it.
"We're just concerned. We've all gotten together and canvassed the neighborhood," says William.
Sally's husband Stuart signed the petition. The reason is simple: he thinks the traffic is worse near the intersection of Pine Log Road and Silver Bluff Road.
"To approve more developments at Silver Bluff is a mistake until you resolve that," says Stuart.
Another part of the plan would be to improve side road intersections along the same stretch.
"It'll help us to get in and out of here more quickly," one neighbor said.
If this proposal becomes reality, there's a simple answer for one family here.
"The odds are good if this goes through we'll find another place to live...and probably, it won't be Aiken," says Stuart.