25 mph speed limit on Lake Park Blvd

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 15 April 2015 04:00

Dear Editor,
As a resident of Carolina Beach, I try to keep current with the actions of our Town Council, our Police Department and the progress that is made on our island on their behalf. I believe that both entities hold a strong commitment to the safety and well-being of our local citizens as well as the tourists. After all, this is the beach and people come here to have fun, relax and enjoy vacations. Unsafe activity can result in a really bad day, unnecessarily ruining a vacation or even worse.
Recently, traffic changes were made in the best interest of public safety by reducing the speed limit to 25 mph for a large part of Lake Park Blvd. This still leaves a significantly busy section of the southern end out of this new speed limit to include the area where a man was killed crossing the road last year. The southern section of Lake Park is pretty heavily laden with parking lots, bath facilities, beach accesses and pedestrian crosswalks. I believe extending the 25 mph speed limits to the Carolina Beach town line at Alabama Ave. would greatly benefit the pedestrian activity there. This is the beach and there really is no reason to be in a big hurry anyway.
 This holiday brought a lot of tourists and traffic to Carolina Beach. Carolina Beach has done a great job of providing frequent pedestrian crosswalks. They are well marked on the pavement with bright signs alerting drivers in both directions. It appears that most drivers are ignorant to the law requiring traffic to stop at crosswalks to allow pedestrians a safe crossing. I frequently witnessed multiple crosswalks loaded up with people waiting to cross while drivers ignored them one-by-one as they drove on their merry way without a break for these folks. I even had a lady blaring her horn at me because I had stopped at one.
Finally, with this past weekend being the kickoff tourist season and the influx of many more people than over the winter, I made a few other observations that I feel require some attention in the best interest of public safety. First of all, nobody is paying attention to the 25 mph speed limit recently imposed. In fact, most appear to be doing well over the previous 35 mph limit. It may be that the new speed limit signs need some red flags to alert the drivers of their importance. The second thing I noticed is even more important; impatient drivers are failing to stop behind cars that are taking left-hand turns and are passing the stopped cars on the right by going onto parking spaces and bike lanes.
Car after car is doing this and at some point, will create a serious accident involving a pedestrian, a cyclist or a stationary vehicle that may be obscured. This is an illegal traffic move, but it is increasingly common and quite dangerous. I’m not, by any means suggesting “police state” patrolling, but somehow, these serious issues need to be addressed in the best interest of public safety. We all want everyone to leave our island happier than they were when they arrived.
 Thank you,
 T. Chris Ware
A Carolina Beach resident


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