Facilitator Madeline Henley at the Southern Shores Traffic public forum on traffic.
Traffic in Southern Shores on summer weekends is bad and it’s not getting any better. There are two problems that is confronting the town—vehicles using residential streets to bypass US 158 and NC 12 when traffic is backed up; and slow moving traffic as cars go from a four lane highway to two lane as they head north.
Looking for answers, the Town Council sponsored a meeting to discuss possible solutions at Kitty Hawk Elementary School that brought a very strong turnout.
A lot of suggestions were tossed around, but as the evening rolled on it became clear some ideas could not be implemented.
As an example there was considerable agreement to the idea of restricting access to residential streets, either by sealing off the roads or not allowing turns from the highways. Town Attorney Ben Gallop pointed out that had been tried in other locations and invariably failed constitutional muster.
The Mid Currituck Bridge was discussed; although the project is still under consideration by NCDOT, its priority ranking is so low it’s very doubtful that if construction would start within the next five years.
Three ideas seemed to be the most practical to undertake and implement:
There was a lot of support for additional police presence on weekends. A number of residents spoke out in favor of multi-use paths and with a Bike and Pedestrian Safety Committee already working on the issue, that should go forward.
Better cooperation with local towns, governments seemed to be the one issue that everyone agreed on. Much of the traffic that cuts through residential streets originates in the gridlock at the intersections of US 158 and South Dogwood and Juniper Trail. Any solution to that problem would involve Kitty Hawk who has jurisdiction over the highway.