Letter to the editor

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Crosswalk safety

At the latest town meeting of Wrightsville Beach, the Board of Aldermen held a hearing concerning the petition for a Mixed Use Conditional Use Permit for the former Scotchman property at at 100 West Salisbury Street. As reported in the Lumina News and as can be heard from the Livestream archives they unanimously rejected the request on the basis of “increased safety concerns” regarding foot traffic crossing Salisbury from the loop as well from parking on Pelican Drive.

What is terribly wrong with this picture? The complete LACK of attention the BOA have given the pitiful condition of safety at our existing crosswalks is what is terribly wrong.

Spend a few minutes observing vehicle, bike and pedestrian behavior at Tower 7/ Wings/Aussie Island. Watch the crowds stream both east and west on Salisbury headed to and from the beach trying to navigate the intense North Lumina intersection. Finally, visit the crosswalk at Pelican and Salisbury just west of Kenan Creek. Note how difficult it is for a pedestrian, especially loaded with young children and beach chairs, to safely get across. Count the near misses, confusion and violations of the law.

One would never deduce that “pedestrians at a marked crosswalk have the right of way” by NC State Law. Seldom will you see even the tap of a brake light. “Right on Red” does not mean you can bully pedestrians and bikes at the crosswalk.

We need to demand better, we need the collective shoulders of our Town Leadership to secure improvement of these intersections.

These are intersections of life versus machine, “He with the greatest mass wins” can not be the rule of common law in our town.

We need our Board to demand loud, clear and often to NC DOT, “we must have High Visibilty Crosswalks.”

That means more that just fresh paint. It means in street “pedestrian right of way” signs, proper high visibilty paint schemes, elimination of right on red where relevant and finally police enforcement of the crosswalk law.

Dear Alderman, recognize we are a large pedestrian community, big/small, young/old. We have our rights, we need protected. Stop waiting for NC DOT to lead we elected you for that role.

Respectfully for the Henderson Street League for the Environment and Responsible Government

Neal Briggi

 

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