Some Columbia County voters likely still have a sour taste in their mouths after voting down the T-SPLOST, along with most Georgia voters, but seeing it enacted in this district anyway.
It’ll get worse Jan. 1, when the sales tax rises to 8 percent. There’s probably little to be done to stop it, unless some of the threatened lawsuits in other areas succeed. Until then, we’d like to hope that the much-ballyhooed highway construction plans set out in our area’s portion of the Transportation Improvement Act help ease the pain somewhat by fixing some lingering highway problems.
But if there’s a reason to lack optimism, it starts blinking Monday morning.
That’s when the Georgia Department of Transportation flips the switch to turn on the new traffic signal on Appling Harlem Highway at Columbia Road.
Now, if there were to be a poll of motorists in Columbia County about where a traffic signal is most needed on a state highway, we’re pretty sure Blanchard Road at Washington Road would be the overwhelming favorite, closely followed by Lewiston Road at William Few Parkway.
Appling Harlem at Columbia? It wouldn’t even make the list. But that seems to be the new normal for the DOT, which just down the road from that remote and decidely not-dangerous intersection the DOT is planning to build an entirely unnecessary and pointless “roundabout” in place of the perfectly functional Pumpkin Center intersection.
There was exactly zero public demand for those changes, but the DOT is building them anyway – while hitting the bureaucratic “ignore” button on pleas for help in other dangerous areas.
At least with the T-SPLOST, which we also didn’t want, the plans for the transportation projects already are laid out for public review and include upgrades to the county’s more dangerous areas.
No thanks to the DOT.