CAROLINA BEACH — For years the Town of Carolina Beach, as well as some island residents, have tried to convince the North Carolina Department of Transportation to lower speed limits throughout the town. NCDOT has made some concessions but has remained steadfast in its decisions not to lower limits on North Lake Park Boulevard, Dow Road, and now, Ocean Boulevard.
But there is good news for safety-conscious residents, the NCDOT has agreed to allow several improvements to crosswalks for pedestrians as well as the lower speed limit on South Lake Park Boulevard.
For months the town has been working with NCDOT to try and get approval to install crosswalk improvements including collapsible bollard signs, flashing signage, and other measures. Now it appears things are moving forward.
On Tuesday during a Town Council meeting, Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin explained to the council that the DOT has approved all of the crosswalk safety requests.
Improvements can be expected as early as this week Parvin said. Bollards are high-visibility posts that will be installed in crosswalks that will help alert drivers to the existence of the crosswalk and pedestrians.
Flashing beacons will also help alert drivers to crosswalks, hopefully improving pedestrian safety on the beach town’s roads.
Safety items like bollards and lights are one thing and even took months worth of back and forth between the town and the DOT, but changing speed limits is a different story.
A few years ago several requests were made to the state to allow changes to speed limits on both Dow Road and North Lake Park Boulevard.
Despite not agreeing with the change, the NCDOT did allow Carolina Beach to make a change to 35 mph as drivers come over Snow’s Cut Bridge.
But the town once again requested changes to North Lake Park, Dow Road, and Ocean Boulevard to which the state did not recommend. The town had requested that the NCDOT reduce the speed limit even further to 25 mph on North Lake Park, 25 mph on Ocean Boulevard, and lowering Dow Road to 45 mph, Parvin said.
However, the town can lower the speed limits on South Lake Park Boulevard from 35 mph to 25 mph. According to Parvin, this stretch will be from the lake to the Town of Kure Beach.
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