Hickory Trail will be closed at its intersection with East Dogwood Trail this weekend, according to a postcard sent by the Town of Southern Shores to Hickory Trail homeowners, who received the mailed notice today.
The postcard reads in part that before “implementing a road closure” at East Dogwood and Hickory trails, the Town wanted to give homeowners “advance notice so you can plan accordingly.”
It goes on to state: “We believe it is best to place the closure at this location to prevent northbound traffic. In the event we determine that negative impacts warrant [the] removal of [the barricade], we will be able to do so rather quickly.”
As a Hickory Trail homeowner, I received this notice in my mailbox today and was not thrilled. I had planned travel between Hickory Trail and North Dogwood Trail this weekend to complete tasks associated with a move. But, being a team player, I will, in fact, change my plans “accordingly,” as the Town requesed.
Honestly, I was more perplexed by another statement on the postcard that reads: “Some of you may recall signing a petition in July of 2019 that requested the Town take similar action.”
It is disingenuous—as well as unnecessary—to suggest that Hickory Trail homeowners should be more than happy to accommodate this closure because, after all, we petitioned for it two years ago! But, perhaps I am being too harsh.
The truth, of course, is that our 2019 petition requested a closure of Hickory Trail while Hillcrest Drive, Sea Oats Trail, and Wax Myrtle Trail remained open to left-turning northbound traffic off of East Dogwood Trail. The dramatically different situation now is that Hickory Trail will be the last northbound street off of East Dogwood Trail to close to traffic. (At least this is what the postcard and the traffic information on the Town website suggest. We will confirm this tomorrow with the Town Manager.)
We also were seeking closure of Hickory Trail at Hillcrest Drive, not East Dogwood. That’s a big difference.
There was a hue and outcry two years ago from people who live on Hillcrest, Sea Oats, and Wax Myrtle, as well as East Dogwood, about closing Hickory. Hickory Trail homeowner David Watson, who originated the petition, presented it to the Town Council, and no one supported it.
With the closure of Hickory Trail this weekend, many people who live north of East Dogwood Trail will be essentially hemmed in, unable to go out of Southern Shores without having to cope upon their return with all or a portion of N.C. Hwy. 12-north.
If you use South Dogwood Trail to return home, you have to anticipate a vehicle backup at the traffic light on East Dogwood Trail before you can turn north on Duck Road to reach your residence.
Residents in the Southern Shores woods often take Hickory Trail to the Hillcrest Beach. That also will not be possible this weekend.
What do you think about closing Hickory Trail? Please let The Beacon and the Town know. You may reach the Town at email@example.com.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 7/13/21