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Johns Island residents oppose a Cross Island Expressway

Tom Wise
Johns Island Preservation Coalition

Recently the Post and Courier reported that the Mayor of Kiawah is resurrecting plans for a new Cross Island Expressway to help residents of Kiawah and Seabrook get to their homes more quickly. The article reported that Kiawah Island residents are responsible for 11% of the property tax revenues that Charleston County receives every year. Because of this significant contribution to Charleston County, the Mayor is proposing the Charleston County "owes" Kiawah something in return, namely a new road across Johns Island to be built with revenues from the Charleston County ½ cent sales tax. The article can be found on the Johns Island Preservation Coalition website, www.johnsislandpreservationcoalition.com.

In reply, we offer the following:

1. Johns Island residents united in 1996 to fight a proposal to build a Cross Island Expressway. Hundreds of residents voiced disapproval of the proposal. We have not changed our minds.

2. The new road is proposed to run parallel to River Road, yet River Road has very little traffic as it is. Johns Island already has a Cross Island Expressway that is a scenic alternative to Bohicket Road. It's called River Road.

3. Kiawah Island may pay more money in taxes, but Johns Island residents are more invested in Charleston County. Johns Island residents live here full time, choose to shop, eat, sleep, and school their kids in Charleston County.

4. Charleston County should use the sales tax revenues for projects that will improve the quality of life for a majority of those who live in Charleston County. The Cross Island Expressway would not significantly improve the quality of life for anyone in the county outside of Kiawah and Seabrook, and it would actually make life worse for a lot of people.

5. As if it weren't enough for Johns Island to have to fight a proposed extension of the Mark Clark onto Johns Island, now Kiawah is proposing a new Cross Island Expressway. Why is Johns Island always under attack? What must we do to show our neighbors that Johns Island residents will work just as hard to preserve that which they seek to destroy?

Please write letters to the Editor of the Post and Courier and to our County Council members to let everyone know that Johns Island residents do not want a Cross Island Expressway; not in 1996, not now, and not in the forseeable future.

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