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LETTERS to the Editor

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BRIDGING ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS

The following is an approach to a proposed Mark Clark connection through Johns and James Island that is practical, sensitive, and could actually benefit both islands.

It seems wasteful that the proposed extension would cross the Stono River from West Ashley, travel through Johns Island for the one and only interchange near Maybank Highway, continue nearly to the Charleston Executive Airport, then cross the Stono River again and hook up with the James Island Connector only to bottleneck upon entry into the city. The proposed route would impact the banks of the Stono River in four locations and additionally impact Ellis Creek on James Island. This enormous environmental impact, taxpayer expense, and excessive use of raw materials (for one interchange on Johns Island) can be minimized by a practical, conservation-minded approach.

A conservation-minded route would truly hug the very edge of Johns Island, stop at the interchange of Maybank and River Roads and utilize the overbuilt, new Stono River Bridge. The impact on the Stono River would be reduced in half and Ellis Creek would not be impacted. Then traffic could be routed through the business district of Maybank Highway on James Island and join the James Island connector either by traveling to Folly Road via the proposed traffic circle or Riverland Drive to Central Park Road. An entrance ramp to the James Island Connector from Central Park Road between the theatre and the Post Office could accommodate City-bound travelers. The Riverland Terrace and Woodland Shores neighborhoods would have no adverse effects because only the two main arteries would be available to the traffic. Additional traffic engineering techniques could be used, such as a traffic light and turn lane onto Central Park Road. The tunnel for golfers under Maybank Highway is already finished and Maybank Highway could handle a significant increase in traffic. Finally, this route enhances the evacuation route needs with only a minimal touchdown on Johns Island.

By allowing traffic to trickle into the City instead of a speeding, fast-paced freeway bottle-necking at Calhoun Street, the business district of Maybank Highway would benefit and traffic would move more safely throughout the area. All big and popular cities are ultimately faced with congestion, which usually leads to carpooling lanes, mass transit and special pedestrian and cyclist lanes. We've not begun to maximize on these options. By reducing the cost of this proposed project to a fraction, precious resources can be used on road improvements that truly are a priority, for example, Hwy. 17 near Gardens Corner or Folly Road pedestrian lanes.

Of equal consideration is the voice of the people of Johns and James Islands, as expressed in the Comprehensive Plan, which demands a conservation effort for rural Johns Island. If this were implemented, then an extension later would still be possible if proven necessary and could be afforded.

Christopher S. Inglese
Charleston

CLEAN START

No nicotine fix in 2006? New Year's is the biggest quitting day of the year, but mountains of failed resolutions annually help fuel more than 6,000 smoking-related deaths in South Carolina, each death an average of 15.3 years early.

If the only tactic a quitter employs is to combine a resolution with an over-the-counter nicotine product or another in-the-dark cold turkey attempt, then their odds of succeeding for one full year are less than 1 in 20. Educating your dreams and having an ongoing source of support can dramatically enhance your odds.

The College of Charleston invites smoking readers to invest two hours in removing the mystery and fear from quitting. Rally with us on Dec. 31 from 2-4 p.m. in the Charleston County Public Library Auditorium at 68 Calhoun St., as together we explore the art, science, and psychology of nicotine dependency recovery.

Free quitting booklets are provided and ongoing support is available. For more info visit WhyQuit.com/2006 or call 849-9721. If you can't be with us, you can download free quitting tips, guides and booklets at WhyQuit.com/books. Go the distance. Come home to comfort, quiet and calm. Yes you can!

John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Educator
Mt. Pleasant

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Letters to the editor are welcome and encouraged. Please include name, address, and daytime phone number for verification purposes. Limit yourself to 300 words or less; letters may be edited for space and clarity.

1049 Morrison Drive Charleston SC 29403Fax: 576-0380 • editor@charlestoncitypaper.com

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