Town To Consider Additional Crosswalks For Lake Park Blvd

Town To Consider Additional Crosswalks For Lake Park Blvd Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 18 November 2015 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Addressing concerns expressed by residents and business owners earlier this year, Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer informed the Town Council at their November 10th, meeting the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is not opposed to additional crosswalks as long as the Town funds the cost. Cramer said himself and Councilman Gary Doetsch recently met with a representative of NCDOT, "And sat down and talked to them about the 15 intersections we have on Lake Park. Only about half of those intersections have any form of crosswalks at them. Some have four crosswalks, one on each leg. Most of them are single individual crosswalks."
Cramer explained, "Very few of them have a lot of signage. There has been some discussion about putting in the knock-down pedestrian signs on the double yellow line in the middle of the intersections to identify those as critical areas to be safe for pedestrians."
Cramer said, "Speaking to NCDOT, they were amenable to us paying for, doing the work and maintaining such crosswalks to their standards. They said basically we can get an encroachment agreement with them" and put in additional signage.
A knock down sign is used in areas where vehicles may hit the sign. Those signs can return to their original position or be easily replaced.
Cramer said, "Over the next couple of months we are going to sit down and go through each individual intersection and determine whether or not we believe there should be additional crosswalks at some or all of them. Go through the encroachment agreement with NCDOT and see which things they will and will not allow in that encroachment agreement and come back to Council with a list of things we think we can go and do to improve those intersections for pedestrian safety."
Council member Sarah Friede said the intersection of South Lake Park Blvd and Atlanta Avenue has a crosswalk but the location creates an unsafe situation. People cross the road from the sidewalk on the east side of Lake Park Blvd, west to the corner of Atlanta Avenue and then have to cross Atlanta Avenue without a crosswalk often placing their lives in the hands of drivers turning onto Atlanta Avenue. She said the problem
is most evident during large events held at the adjacent Carolina Beach Lake Park. She said the increase in pedestrians walking to those events creates an unsafe situation.
Cramer said there have been discussions with NCDOT officials about redesigning that intersection by moving
the crosswalk to align with the area of the Carolina Beach Lake and the possibility of closing a portion of Atlanta Avenue on the east side of Lake Park Blvd adjacent to an existing Town owned parking lot. That would
create a safer three way intersection with crosswalks for each crossing.
Friede said, "I can't tell you how many times people crossing in front of cars there have nearly got hit" by cars, "I see somebody at least once a week that are a bumper away from getting their kneecaps taken off."
Cramer said adding flashing signals at intersections is estimated to cost around $30,000 at each intersection.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth asked if Cramer will look at adding sidewalks south of the Carolina Beach Lake along Lake Park Blvd.
Mayor Dan Wilcox said, "I've had a number of businesses and a couple of local organizations call me about the crosswalks.
They are willing to do fund raising events... to help us with that. When you get to a point where you have costs and a plan maybe we could work with them."

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