There is no love lost between Scott Dean, Columbia County's District 4 commissioner, and David Payne, the man who lost to Dean in 2008 and intends to challenge him again this summer.
So if these two oppose the Department of Transportation plan to install a traffic circle at Pumpkin Center, it's a pretty sure sign it's a bad idea. And it is.
Dean and Payne aren't the only ones rejecting the roundabout, either. Virtually everyone who has ever traveled through the four-way stop at Appling-Harlem and Wrightsboro roads, especially those who do so routinely, dislike the plan unveiled this past week by the DOT.
In fact, the only people who seem to like the plan are the folks in the highway business. Like skirt-lengths and hairstyles, roundabouts seem to be the latest highway fashion craze.
Private developers built a circle in Riverwood Plantation a couple of years ago. Since then, the county considered (and rejected) putting one on Hereford Farm Road at Cox and Gibbs roads, and now the DOT wants a circle at Pumpkin Center.
Roundabouts are great traffic devices in the right place. And many of the traffic circle's foes say they'd prefer a traffic signal at the intersection. Either option would cost nearly a million bucks.
But Pumpkin Center is a major highway intersected by a rural road. As such, there's a simpler, cheaper way to handle its traffic: Restore Appling-Harlem Road as open highway and reinforce the visibility of stop signs on Wrightsboro.
A decade ago, state officials caved in to emotions after a student's death and set up the four-way stop at the intersection. Now is a good time to re-examine that decision, especially before spending big bucks on changes that are entirely unwanted - and completely unneccessary.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.