A traffic analysis has determined the best way to help alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection of Sea Island and Frederica roads is a roundabout.
Glynn County commissioners unanimously agreed at a workshop Tuesday it was the way to deal with the problem because of the way the roundabout at Kings Way and Frederica Road has worked so well.
Commissioner Cap Fendig, who represents St. Simons Island, said he has had no calls or complaints about the roundabout since it was built. But when the roundabout was first proposed, Fendig said the opposition was “terrifically fierce.”
According to a traffic simulation, a roundabout will significantly reduce traffic backups, compared to a traffic light at the intersection of Sea Island and Frederica roads.
“There is no question the roundabout will be the best choice over signalization,” Fendig said.
Commissioner David O’Quinn agreed it’s “time to go in a different direction than we have in the past.”
“We’re at a point to move forward on this,” he said. “It’s a punch point that has to be dealt with.”
Traffic congestion near the intersection was also cited as one of the reasons commissioners don’t support plans to build gas pumps at the Harris Teeter store. O’Quinn and Fendig both told a lawyer representing the store that they could not support a proposal to build the pumps at this time.
“There is not a great consensus for that application,” Fendig said. “For me, don’t bring anything forth.”
O’Quinn said a gas station near that intersection “only muddies the water.”
“We’re trying to solve a problem at that intersection,” he said. “I can’t support it at this time. We’ve got a mess at that intersection, and we’ve got to figure it out.”
Commissioners also considered four new redistricting maps to consider at the meeting.
One of the maps presented by Christopher Channell, supervisor of the board of elections, split St. Simons Island into two districts. But that map was quickly dismissed because it would be difficult to justify splitting the island into two districts since a state mandate is to draw new voter districts with no more than a one percent deviation in population. St. Simons’ population fits within that one percent requirement by the state. Channell said he cannot maintain the current district boundaries because of the new law.
The challenge is drawing district lines that keep current county commissioners and school board members in the same districts, Channell said.
Both the county and school board share the same voting district lines.
Commissioners agreed to consider three maps at Thursday’s meeting and select one. All of the options they will consider have Jekyll Island in District 1, which stretches west of Interstate 95.