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Maybank Highway’s “Network of Streets” – a smoke screen for another large Riley deal-estate development
Lee Walton

The City’s latest planning and engineering consultant “from off” may have unintentionally spilled too many beans as he extolled the virtues of his planned “network of streets” proposed as his “top priority” for solving growing traffic congestion on Johns Island.

Richard Hall, the latest in Riley’s stable of imported experts intent on showing us poor, unwashed locals what progressive communities do elsewhere, aired his latest plan last Wednesday evening during a special meeting at the Johns Island County Library. In a taxpayer funded follow-up to his initial proposal offered this past spring, Hall gave additional insight into the proposed first phase of what the City Administration and Riley’s trusty side-kick, Dana Beach, hail as their joint visionary alternative to the County’s Roadwise plan to widen Maybank Highway from the new Stono Bridge to Bohicket Road. The more Hall talked, the more the smoke cleared and beans spilled to reveal the covert intensions that always lurk just beneath the glittering surface of Riley’s world class visions – it’s just another taxpayer funded deal-estate proposal to continue suburban sprawl on Johns Island while benefiting a large, local Irish-Catholic family owning extensive undeveloped property south of Maybank Highway that extends from the Stono River to River Road. They also just happen to be local developers with long, close generational ties to the Riley Clan - no surprise there!

Either consciously of not, David Slade provided ample proof in his July 10th Palter and Chatter article, “Network of streets favored”, to expose Riley’s covert intensions to construct a “…network of new two-lane streets…” for the benefit of another deal-estate developer with close, personal ties to Riley. Halls concept “…calls for creating a two-lane road parallel to Maybank Highway between the bridge and Fenwick Hall…Near Fenwick Hall, more two-lane roads would be added, all leading to River Road.” Later in the presentation “…Hall said some property owners have already been contacted and agree with the plan.” With free roadway infrastructure in the offering, who wouldn’t? Given the fact that all of the property on the north side of Maybank between the Stono and River Road is developed or in conservation easements surrounding Fenwick Hall, the proposed “network of streets” Hall described could only be located within the undeveloped property south of Maybank Highway.

One can readily envision a Betsy Kerrison style parkway extending from the western, elevated bridge section at the planned interchange with the proposed extension of I-526 - “Each two-lane road would be one-way, doubling the lanes to and from the bridge.” Logically, an intersection would be constructed with a new north-south roadway opposite the existing Fenwich Hall Entrance on Maybank. This new road would extend southward and interconnect with “more two-lane roads… all leading to River Road.” The “pitch-fork” network of roadways Hall described leading westward from the bridge to multiple intersections on River Road south of Maybank would be nothing less than a network of new subdivision streets creating a new, taxpayer funded roadway system for the benefit of another Riley deal-estate development to construct a large commercial and residential subdivision.

You’ve still got to give him credit; with nothing left of his credibility after his recent Rusty Debacle, Riley’s convoluted mind is still full of mischievous back-room deals, albeit, as usual, at taxpayer’s expense. His hypocrisy still seems endless.

Riley’s greatest shortcoming is his consistent inability to give a few locals credit for common sense, suspicious natures, and good memories. He still thinks most of us just fell off the tailgate of a turnip truck.