Traffic impacts safety concerns among residents


Traffic impacts, lease renewals, lighting and infrastructure pepper the agenda following the naming of the Wrightsville Beach Police Department’s Officer of the Year.

Chief Dan House will name the officer of the year and swear in new officers during the town meeting Thursday, July 10 at 6 p.m. Elected officials will review traffic impacts on residential streets and revisit long- and short-term leases during its monthly public meeting that follows.

The high volume of foot traffic entering and leaving Public Beach Access No. 10 is the concern expressed by the public works department during its review of the Surf Club’s request to add a one-way driveway entrance to its parking lot at the northeastern end of Mallard Street.

At least one Mallard Street resident, Gloria Gunther of 10B Mallard Street, is opposed to the proposal citing heavy traffic congestion along the one-block thoroughfare, safety hazards to pedestrians and disruption of traffic flows between established ingress and egress with Club Colony, a six-unit townhouse complex located at the southeastern end of Mallard Street opposite the proposed driveway.

The club is requesting the second driveway to mitigate wrong turns by club members located at the west end of Mallard Street.

Traffic concerns are also at the root of a request to install two speed humps on North Channel Drive on Harbor Island and reinstall a speed hump at the intersection of South Lumina Avenue and Sprunt Street near the south end.

The North Channel drive humps would be installed between the intersection of Fifth Street and North Channel Drive’s dead end cul de sac. Area residents have met the town ordinance requirement that 75 percent sign a petition in support of the traffic-calming devices.

The Sprunt Street speed hump initially installed in 2009 has been a topic of discussion since 2000. It was voted during an Aug. 8, 2013, public meeting to install a pedestrian crossing sign and marks and to consider removing the hump at the request of former alderwoman Susan Collins who said she had received numerous complaints. The hump was later removed.

Dr. Frank Gwathmey of 510 South Lumina Ave. has called for the reinstallation of the hump citing unsafe conditions for pedestrians and children who traffic the block-long roadway from the corner of Sprunt Street and South Lumina Avenue.

Tabled during the June meeting, the board will revisit the terms of a 10-year lease with the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce for the use of two rooms inside the Wrightsville Beach Visitors Center on West Salisbury Street.

At issue is the chamber’s request to sublease space during the off season to other unnamed nonprofit organizations. Revenues from various sources, including the sublease, are to be used to make building repairs. The sublease request does not identify the nonprofit or nonprofits that might make use of the service if allowed and marks a departure from the town’s other nonprofit leases with the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and the North Carolina Coastal Federation. Both prohibit subleasing.

The renewal of a one-year lease agreement with Fasse Construction for town-owned property on Live Oak Drive permits the sublease of space. Comparative nuances of that lease provide for commercial uses and name the sublease.

The board will consider an uplighting proposal from the Wrightsville Beach Foundation aimed at illuminating the town’s right-of-ways near the drawbridge and the intersections of Causeway Drive and Salisbury Street. The project will be introduced by foundation member Linda Brown.

Also to be considered are infrastructure projects including a $96,000 technology upgrade that includes server virtualization, website redesign and hosting.



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