Letter: Slocum Road project not an improvement

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 03:29 PM.

Dealing with the NCDOT representatives at this meeting was a frustrating experience to say the least. If I showed them that there really was not a congestion problem or that this project only moves the so-called congestion from one point to another, they then said this was for safety issues. If I mentioned that this project will create a far more dangerous safety issue, they said it was for future capacity. When I pointed out that if anything MCAS Cherry Point will be shrinking over the next 10 years plus, they insisted this was for "flow." When I pointed out that their flow doesn’t improve because they did not take into account the Walmart intersection or the disruption to this flow by people having to do U-turns to get to the Tucker Creek or MacDonald Downs subdivisions or the school, they went back to the congestion argument.

If they are really concerned about the congestion and safety of people turning onto Slocum Road, then there are two simple and very inexpensive ways to deal with it. One is to extend the left turn lane further along U.S. 70 towards Pine Grove so that the backup never spills out onto the left lane of U.S. 70. The other is to eliminate the flashing yellow turn arrow and adjust the timing at the Slocum Road intersection light so that it cycles more often and allows the traffic on U.S. 70 to turn more often. Neither of these suggestions was acceptable to the NCDOT — not because they wouldn’t work, but because they argue they are "less efficient" than the traffic flow their models say will result from this massive project.

Personally, I would be happy to deal with something a little "less efficient" than their model in order to save lives and money trying to correct a problem that doesn’t exist 23 hours a day five days a week or at all on weekends.

Jeff Weber, Havelock 

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