The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 17, 2012

Town reviews transportation plan

By Jason O'Boyd, Staff Writer

Monday, December 17, 2012 — Albemarle and New London have seen the maps and information being proposed for the Comprehensive Transportation Plan for Stanly County. Tuesday night, it was Badin’s turn.

Dana Stoogenke of the Rocky River Rural Planning Organization took part in a near 40-minute discussion with the town commissioners about the maps for vehicle, bike and pedestrian usage.

The commissioners presented Stoogenke with several interesting questions that furthered the conversation past the initial proposal.

Stoogenke began by saying the only real concerns for Badin was an upgrade to N.C. 740. The road would need to be 12 feet wide with adequate shoulder space on both sides. The pedestrian path would not change since it’S in place by the DOT while no additional bike paths would be suggested outside what the state already allows.

“I’ve been on the RPO board, I think I started in 2006,” Mayor James Harrison said.

“Then (Council member) Larry (Milano) started working on it with me as an alternate. Years ago I begged off it and he’s been doing it and (Council member) Anne (Harwood) has been kind of going with him. It helps because if you don’t go to those meetings and learn some of the acronyms, it’s just Greek.”

Milano asked about the shoulder width and how a bike route was defined. He also asked about whether there could be adequate shoulder space to allow for bikers.

Harrison said after the meeting that Town Manager Jay Almond had looked into that possibility and the cost “was in the millions.”

“They would have to widen it, make it strong enough for heavy trucks because of the businesses,” Harrison said.

“It was just prohibitive right now.”

The bulk of discussion was the use of roundabouts in the county. Roundabouts were put into place this summer as a way to cut down on the number of traffic accidents in the area.

Mayor Pro Tem Delores Chambers said that people were not noticing the yield signs on the roundabouts used on the Northeast Connector. Almond pointed out that the first roundabout closest to U.S. 52 was confusing due to the arrows on the road leading up to the roundabout. The arrow in the left lane seems to indicate a left-hand turn is allowed, especially when the right lane points to a right-handed turn.

Roundabouts only allow for traffic to flow to the right, whether it be to get to the other side or to make a right-hand turn.

Milano also inquired about a roundabout in the Five Points and Palestine area. Harrison asked about the possibility of a roundabout for the Valley Drive area of Albemarle.

Stoogenke said a roundabout for the Valley Drive area wasn’t under consideration but that she would contact Lisa Feller with the Department of Transporta-tion to address the other questions. That includes another one Milano had about the number of unguarded (no flashing lights or crossing gate) and active railroad crossings in the county.

The board later approved the CTP resolution by the RPO.

In other business:

A lighting issue for trees not already lit on Falls Road and Roosevelt Street was discussed. Almond said the issue could be addressed either through adding lights through existing lines or adding lines underground. The board will get estimates on the cost of doing either.

“We have nine Crapes planted on Roosevelt at the same time we planted the nine on the other side of the street,” Harrison said after the meeting.

“They are not wired.

“In the middle you have probably a half dozen Crapes and what you call Golden Raindrop trees. They are not large but they are bigger than a Crape.

“My problem with it is the maintenance. I understand everybody saying ‘Yeah, it looks pretty’ and all that. But after it’s been there a while, people wouldn’t even notice it.”

Town Board appointments were approved without any changes to personnel.

Town Hall will be closed Dec. 24-26 and Jan. 1.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 8.