The cut-through residential roads in Southern Shores were pleasantly open and quiet yesterday until northbound vacationer traffic started picking up around 4 p.m., causing backups at intersections with N.C. Hwy. 12 (Duck Road), according to reports to The Beacon by a number of homeowners.
Waves of vehicles began running the stop sign at the East Dogwood Trail-Hickory Trail intersection yesterday about 4:30 p.m., but had mostly subsided by 7:15 p.m..
The backup on Sea Oats Trail from the Duck Road traffic light lasted from about 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to homeowners on that heavily traveled cut-through road.
The Beacon also heard from homeowners on Wax Myrtle Trail, who live between Hickory Trail and Hillcrest Drive, that traffic moved smoothly, if too quickly, yesterday afternoon until it came to a dead stop around 6:30 p.m.
We did not hear when the backup on Wax Myrtle Trail subsided.
The photograph above shows young Hugh Hoskins across the street yesterday at 6:45 p.m. from traffic backed up on Eleventh Avenue at Duck Road.
All in all, we would say that this hastily arranged no-left-turn weekend, which was not policed, was a success, considering the nightmarish congestion of the past two weekends.
From about 10:45 a.m. until about 4:15 p.m. yesterday, Hickory Trail was a quiet, pleasant street on which to live, walk, jog, and cycle. Homeowners who live north of Hickory Trail enjoyed the peaceful conditions, too—albeit for a shorter time, if they live on Sea Oats Trail.
Adjectives used by homeowners on Hillcrest Drive, Sea Oats Trail, and Wax Myrtle Trail yesterday to describe the traffic until the backups started included: “Fantastic!” “Wonderful!” and “Delightful!”
No one reported any problems on Juniper Trail/Trinitie Trail or Chicahauk Trail, nor did we hear from anyone who lives on South Dogwood Trail.
The Town should consider making modifications for the next no-left-turn weekend, which as of today appears to be July 4-5.
A homeowner on Duck Woods Drive reported that motorists were making U-turns at his street, off of U.S. Hwy. 158, and double-backing to South Dogwood Trail to make legal right turns. This was a problem with the June 2018 no-left-turn weekend and should be addressed. There are ways in which to discourage this “work-around.”
It was not clear to The Beacon how many of the motorists who came through the dune roads accessed them by jumping off of Duck Road. No one reported seeing motorists short-cutting from Duck Road, but it is a safe assumption that some did.
These access points have been discussed at public workshops about the cut-through traffic, which all Town Council members have attended. Preventing access to Wax Myrtle Trail, Sea Oats Trail, and Hillcrest Drive via Duck Road, rather than via South Dogwood Trail, should be addressed by the Town.
The Beacon thanks everyone who participated in yesterday’s monitoring of the traffic. Your firsthand observations are critical to understanding what is happening on our roads and to taking steps to improve conditions. We welcome your comments today.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 6/21/20