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Pier Goodmann
PARTY SECRETERY
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Folly Beach Pedestrian Safety

In the past 12 months, Folly Beach has seen the tragic death of Samantha Hutchinson and several other accidents involving pedestrians and automobiles. We must work to make Folly Beach safer.

Pedestrian Safety Must Be a Priority

Pedestrian safety is not just a concern but a responsibility shared by all. From city officials to the general public, everyone has a role to play. By adopting proven strategies, leveraging grants, and fostering a culture of safety, Folly Beach can take proactive steps to ensure that our streets are safer for everyone.

Perception of Safety Impacts Tourism

Tourist destinations like Folly Beach must be able to provide a safe environment to visitors. In fact, women list Safety and their number one factor when choosing a vacation/vacation destination.

SCDOT Reports These Trends in Pedestrian Fatalities

  • Most pedestrian fatalities occur at night, emphasizing the need for well-lit streets and crosswalks.
  • A notable proportion of these fatalities are taking place in locations without sidewalks, underscoring the importance of pedestrian infrastructure.

Unfortunately, Folly Beach has many areas that meet the criteria listed above. Along with the Arctic Avenue Plan, we need to be proactive in our approach toward addressing locations on the island that contribute to potential pedestrian safety issues.

I Will Work to Implement Proactive Measures Designed to Improve Pedestrian Safety on Folly Beach

  • Slowing Down Motor Vehicles Where Pedestrians are Present: The faster a vehicle is traveling, the higher the risk of it killing someone it strikes. This risk grows from just 10% at 23 miles per hour (mph) to 90% at 58 mph
  • Work to increase the enforcement of rules regarding motorist yielding to pedestrians
  • Installing more sidewalks
  • Add Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons to popular crossing areas: They allow pedestrians to activate a series of warning and stop beacons for drivers
  • Add Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at island crossings throughout the island: (RRFB) are active (user-actuated) or passive (automated detection) amber light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that use an irregular flash pattern at mid-block or uncontrolled crossing locations. These have been found to significantly increase driver yielding behavior.
  • Ensuring well-lit streets
  • Add Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at signalized intersections allowing pedestrians to walk, usually three to four seconds, before vehicles get a green signal to turn left or right

Funding for These Initiatives

While none of the solutions are free, the United States Department of Transportation list a number of funding and grant opportunities that can be utilized to offset the cost to Folly Beach. Money that can be utilized to fund:

  • Sidewalk installations
  • Traffic Calming Areas
  • Crosswalk enhancements
  • Pedestrian signals

One accident is too many. As a member of the Folly Beach City Council, I will listen to resident concerns and work towards implementing solutions that make the island safer for residents and our guests.

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