2018-08-31 / News

CCN addresses safety, city issues

By Josh Cruse


Amy Ely Johnson and Michael Dantzler, with S.C. Livable Communities, discuss road safety. Amy Ely Johnson and Michael Dantzler, with S.C. Livable Communities, discuss road safety. The Columbia Council of Neighborhoods held its monthly meeting Thursday, August 23.

Amy Ely Johnson, the director of S.C. Livable Communities, spoke about bike and pedestrian safety. According to Johnson, South Carolina leads the nation in traffic fatality rates, No. 3 worst for pedestrian safety and No. 6 worst for car safety.

Johnson said the S.C. Living Communities organization is working to improve the conditions. Some of that includes working with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, which owns approximately 70 percent of the roads in South Carolina according to Johnson.

Her colleague, Michael Dantzler, pointed to the Farrow Road project as an example of the current situation. A portion of Farrow Road was recently converted back to four lanes after having two lanes taken away to use as bike lanes. Dantzler said the project needed more public engagement and should have been a collaboration between community, city, and DOT leaders.


Columbia City Councilman Ed McDowell Jr. discusses city issues. Columbia City Councilman Ed McDowell Jr. discusses city issues. Johnson and Dantzler both agree the DOT needs to approach the communities about each neigborhood’s specific needs.

Among the areas Johnson feels need changing are bike lanes and the size of road lanes. She believes the streets should be more family friendly.

According to Johnson, the South Carolina Livable Communities Alliance has worked over the last few years studying different issues and policies with DOT. She says there has been an increase in funding for safety measures by DOT.

Columbia City Councilman Ed McDowell Jr. addressed some of the issues facing the city.

He says the city has been working with the residents in Pinebelt to deal with an overgrown bush issue. In dealing with it, city officials have come across some safety issues it has addressed with Forest Hill offiicals.

McDowell announced Route 22 has been reinstated. This route was lost a few years ago and helped those working at the hospitals get home. Among the streets Route 22 travels is Beltline Boulevard.

McDowell also announced new technology that will be used by the Columbia Police Department. The technology is called Spot shot and allows officers to use an app on their phones when they hear gunshots. Spot shot allows the officers to identify the location of a gun shot in five to ten seconds.

McDowell says this technology is expensive. However, he values the safety of the citizens more.

The initial installation of the technology will be in District One and Two.

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