Committee trying to ease congestion from visitors on HHI - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Committee trying to ease congestion from visitors on HHI

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

The Town of Hilton Head Island is looking for more ways to accommodate year-round visitors while lightening the load for residents. 

At a recent town council, meeting members expressed the need to ease congestion on the south end of the island. 

Hilton Head sees more than two million visitors each year.

The town has been working over the past few years to revitalize the island, including major areas like Coligny Beach. 

On the northern part of the island, most of the tourist destinations are centered on shopping, so you have the outlets as well as some large shopping plazas.

But the south end of the island is where we see a lot of those tourists come, because of Coligny Beach as well as Sea Pines, which also offers beach access and shopping. 

The Circle to Circle Committee was started 18 months ago to look at the challenges and opportunities the island has. One of those challenges is congestion on the south end of the island. 

The committee has recommended some short-term solutions to the traffic problem.

"Increasing the visibility of the other beaches on Hilton Head to relieve some of the congestion on Coligny, both from a parking and traffic standpoint from the circle. The authorization of food trucks at those beaches to provide a minimal service of food and beverage service to make those beaches more attractive,” said Jim Grant, Circle to Circle Committee. "We think there's an opportunity to run a road parallel to Pope Avenue, running from South Forest Beach to Office Park which will take the volume of cars off of Pope Avenue and off of the circle. We think that widening New Orleans Road to three lanes with a turning lane will also improve flow. We think that reducing the number of curb cuts and left turn lanes will also improve traffic flow.”   

The committee also suggests a parking shuttle that would bus visitors from one part of the island to the other. The committee will meet on October 11 to look at the reports collected over the six month period, from there the town will review the recommendations and decide how to move forward.

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