(EDITOR’S NOTE: We had hoped to publish the following article before last weekend, but were unable to do so.)
The Southern Shores citizens’ cut-through traffic committee supports the Town Council’s decision to conduct a three no-left-turn-weekend trial this summer, even though it does not believe, as chairperson Tommy Karole said in an email last week to the Council, that this measure is a “long-term viable solution to solve the traffic problem in our town.”
The committee continues to look at other options for traffic control, according to Mr. Karole, who contacted the Council before it voted unanimously at its June 16 workshop meeting to implement a left-turn prohibition at eastbound U.S. Hwy. 158 on to South Dogwood Trail last weekend and this upcoming weekend.
The Town subsequently canceled the June 27-28 no-left-turn weekend. (See The Beacon, 6/21/20.) The next scheduled no-left-turn weekend is July 4-5. The Town Council has discussed holding the other two no-left-turn weekends on July 25-26 and Aug. 1-2.
“We will analyze the data collected during the three-weekend trial and look forward to submitting our findings this fall,” Mr. Karole wrote in an email that was read aloud at the Council’s June 16 meeting. “In the meantime we offer these suggestions to help ensure a successful trial” [which The Beacon has edited for style]:
- Placing signage on the north and south ends of the Wright Memorial Bridge alerting drivers to the no-left turn at U.S. Hwy. 158 and South Dogwood Trail.
- Reprogramming of the left-turn arrow light at the entrance to South Dogwood Trail to solid red. [The N.C. Dept. of Transportation informed Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett that it would do this. We do not know if the reprogramming occurred last weekend.]
- Placing a “No U-Turn” sign at the entrance to Duck Woods Drive.
- Officially notifying both WAZE and GOOGLE Maps of plans for the no-left-turn weekends.
- Notifying all Outer Banks rental companies about the no-left-turn weekends, with the strong suggestion that all renters be notified that they will not be permitted to turn left on to South Dogwood Trail. [The Beacon disagrees with this measure, believing there is no reason to draw attention to the cut-through route.]
- Blanketing key locations, such as South Dogwood Trail, Hillcrest Drive, Wax Myrtle Trail, Sea Oats Trail, Juniper Trail, and Ocean Blvd (at the split next to the cell tower), with northbound traffic counters.
- Placing unmanned blockades at Porpoise Run and Dolphin Run, with signs indicating “No Left Turn.”
- Placing southbound vehicle counters on East Dogwood Trail at the Dick White Bridge to collect data on motorists using the Southern Shores residential area as a cut-through route when leaving the beach on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Enacting a town ordinance covering the above points.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 6/23/20