Street signs and police presence let drivers know there is no left turn onto Dogwood Trail in Southern Shores.

This weekend—and for this weekend only—there is no left turn off US 158 on to Dogwood Trail in Southern Shores. It is an experiment to try to control the traffic that pours through the residential areas of Southern Shores every weekend during the Outer Banks summer.

The first full day is not done yet, but an early observation would be that it seems to be working better than anticipated.

Some of that may be the way Southern Shores Police and NCDOT went about blocking the intersection off so that people would know early on they couldn’t make a left turn there. And some of it may be the very heavy police presence on Dogwood Trail.

What is important is how is the restriction affecting traffic, and the early read would be not much at all if it is indeed affecting anything.

The reason for the restriction are safety concerns that Southern Shores has raised about the use of Dogwood Trail as a cutoff to avoid the inevitably snarled traffic at the intersection of US 158 and NC 12 about a mile to the west.

The residential streets of Southern Shores were never designed for the volume of traffic that descends upon them during the turnover days of Saturday and Sunday; nor is there any reasonable way to upgrade the roads to handle that level of traffic. Residents of the town have been consistent in voicing their concerns.

It is, at this point in time, just for this weekend, but it is possible other weekends may be added in the future.

The no lefty turn restrtiction applies to only the north end of the Outer Banks by the Wright Brothers Bridge.