DOT sticks with renovations to intersections

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 01:26 PM.

Drivers wanting to head east on U.S. 70 can either turn right at Carolina Pines and make a U-turn, use the service road to access a crossing just west of the main entrance, or use a service road and use a redesigned crossing just east of the main entrance where left turns would be permitted into an acceleration lane that is to be built.

"They are just shifting the problem to a new intersection," said resident Joe Sesco. "It’s not over. I think they’re listening. I’m not sure anything’s going to be done. At least we had the opportunity to voice an opinion.

"I don’t think you’re going to be able to satisfy the people with the current plan even with alterations. I think most people would prefer a light out here and I don’t think the Department of Transportation is going to see that through in any way."

Residents peppered DOT officials about why others areas such as Tucker Creek in Havelock and Carolina Colours and Taberna in New Bern have traffic signals and Carolina Pines doesn’t. Some argued that the lack of a signal was to appease tourists heading to the beach rather than looking out for the welfare of local residents.

DOT officials pointed to redesigned intersections along U.S. 70 in Newport, where crashes have been reduced without the addition of traffic signals.

"I think DOT came in and already had some ideas," resident Stu Collins said. "Hopefully they’ll listen to our ideas and go back and come up with an agreeable plan that suits everybody. Saving lives is one of the bigger things to do and that’s what’s going to win out here. I think they need to listen to the residents here and make it work for us and not worry about everybody else."

Resident Leroy Evans said he wished fewer people had attended the meeting.

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