HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - Hilton Head Island is looking at ways to alleviate congestion around the most popular part of the island - the south end near Coligny Beach and Sea Pines.
The Circle to Circle Committee met Monday to discuss solutions to traffic and parking issues in the area.
The committee discussed three key areas to improve: the Sea Pines area circle, parking, and beach traffic. They finalized the recommendations for the town to decide on.
The Sea Pines Circle has been a huge traffic problem in the area. At the meeting, they decided on short-term improvements that can be made, such as like adding more signs to re-route traffic on other roads away from the circle, and adding signs to notify visitors of peak traffic hours. They will also recommend piloting a shuttle system for both employees and visitors along the Palmetto Bay Road-Pope Avenue area. Finally, they want to see the town increase marketing for other mid-island beaches. This also includes allowing food trucks at all beaches, except Coligny. They hope that will make those beaches more appealing to visitors and cut down on the current high volume of traffic.
"The goal for the area is to keep Coligny as popular and as thriving as it has been for the last number of years, and to ensure that that is possible in the future, given the increasing demands of volume traffic and parking. If we don't start to come to grips with some of these growth challenges, it's only going to get worse," said chairman, Jim Gant.
As far as paying for beach parking goes, the committee decided not to recommend charging for parking that is currently free at Coligny Beach just yet. They simply don't think they will have time to implement it for spring 2017. The next step is to present their ideas at the full town council meeting on Oct. 4.