Planners picked the easiest name for a bisected Doby’s Bridge Road, going with North Dobys Bridge and South Dobys Bridge.
The county approached the town about renaming the road due to Fort Mill Parkway cutting it into two parts. The idea is that separate names make navigation easier for emergency response and others.
The town planning commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve North Dobys Bridge Road for the section from the bypass to S.C. 160 and South Dobys Bridge Road from the bypass to U.S. 521. Which isn’t to say those were the favored names by each member.
“It really is an awkward situation with the county already being that far along,” said Chairman James Traynor.
While different signs on Doby’s Bridge have spelled the road differently, new signage should add some consistency, officials said – and they won’t have the sometimes controversial apostrophe.
“The county has informed us that there will not be an apostrophe (in the name),” town planning director Joe Cronin said.
According to noted local historian and retired professor Louise Pettus, the road was named for John Doby, an important local figure in the mid-19th century. Years ago, the Fort Mill Times wrote about the spelling, because the various signage along Doby’s Bridge Road spells it “Doby’s,” “Dobys” and “Doby.” It was determined that Doby’s was the proper spelling.
Last year, the Fort Mill School Board recommended naming what is now Doby’s Bridge Elementary School without the apostrophe, but reconsidered after public input.
York County Council approved the rename at its July 21 meeting, the day before Fort Mill’s planning commission held its public hearing. Parts of the now two roads are in Fort Mill town limits and parts are just in the county, but having separate names didn’t interest the commission.
“We would want to avoid that and I’m sure the county would want to avoid that, too,” Cronin said. “It would be a really, really awkward situation.”
In places, the town and county boundary actually runs along the road. With the north and south approach, no address numbers would change.
“It’s a very, very minor change whereas if you go in and change the name entirely, it’s going to be more involved,” Cronin said.
Resident Frank Collins brought several suggestions to the commission – honoring an aviation pioneer, Native American village and an existing business. His first choice was to continue an existing road, but not Doby’s Bridge.
“The upper part now is more of a continuation of Holbrook Road,” Collins said.
He also suggested Doby’s Bridge Road and Upper Doby’s Bridge Road.
“It’s really not north,” he said. “It’s northwest.”
Commissioner Ben Hudgins liked the Holbrook idea.
“Holbrook Road, to me, makes the most sense,” he said.
But, given the county’s decision, Hudgins came on board with the north and south designations.
“Given the circumstances, it makes more sense,” he said.
If a large chunk of road were added under the Holbrook name, another issue would be finding enough address numbers to add to one end.
“My guess is there would not be enough,” Cronin said.
Traynor said some suggestions from the public could be used in later road naming. But for Doby’s Bridge, the north and south approach makes sense.
“In my opinion, we’d be overly complicating things,” Traynor said.
The commission also approved the naming of a cul-de-sac created by the Doby’s Bridge Road where a small section will be cut off to connect with the bypass. The cul-de-sac near Doby Bridge Park will be called Mary Hinson Court, honoring the family owning that property.
York County Council named an area road, too. At its meeting, Council renamed Monorail Drive as Cabelas Drive. Near the former Plaza Fiesta site, the road will serve Cabelas, which is under construction.