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CBA to hear road diet presentation
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Members of the Camden Business Alliance (CBA) and their guests will have the chance to learn more about the city of Camden’s proposed Broad Street “road diet” at the alliance’s next Breakfast Before Hours to be held Wednesday at 8 a.m. The meeting will take place on the mezzanine level of TenEleven Galleria, 1011 Broad St., and feature representatives from the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and URS, the city of Camden’s engineering consultant firm.

The road diet would narrow Broad Street between DeKalb and York streets from a total of four lanes to two in an effort to divert heavy truck traffic to an enhanced, approved truck route being developed separately by SCDOT. Some business and property owners along that portion of Broad Street have expressed concern about how both the construction and the finished project will affect their businesses.

Actual construction work on the road diet may not begin until at least 2016 since it is dependent upon the completion of the truck route enhancement project. URS representatives told Camden City Council recently that once the Broad Street road diet is begun, it will take place in four stages during an 18-month period.

In addition, Jonathan Bazinet -- as owner of Sam Kendall’s restaurant and not as CBA president -- will make a presentation during the meeting on a “middle ground” approach.

“Since we have one presentation for the meeting, we thought that another ‘solution’ might be suggested at the same meeting, thereby giving the business people more things to talk over before a straw poll on June 12,” CBA Vice President Patricia Richardson said in a series of emails Friday. “We have a very clear objective for this meeting -- provide solid facts and information about proposed changes to our main thoroughfare.”

Following both presentations, CBA members will have a chance to participate in a question and answer period with the agency’s representatives. Richardson said questions will be limited to 30 seconds, answers to two minutes. Questioners must stand, identify themselves and what business they represent.

“The end result is to conduct a straw poll, giving the now more than 90 members a chance to have the city council hear from them in the aggregate. We will begin on June 12 and provide the results to the members and the council when the ballots are in and tabulated,” Richardson said, adding that while guests are welcome to the meeting, only CBA members may participate in the poll.

Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP by phone, at 432-3283; email, camdenbusinessalliance@gmail.com; or through the U.S. Postal Service by writing Camden Business Alliance, P.O. Box 4, Camden, SC 29021.

There is no obligation to join the alliance. The CBA’s Breakfast Before Hours uses a complimentary breakfast and meets quarterly. For those who do wish to join, dues are $20 per year, and membership guarantees inclusion in a new visitor’s guide and map being developed for release this fall.