Ayden residents request speed cushions
By Lucas Simonds
The Times Leader
Monday, May 23, 2016
AYDEN — A group of Ayden residents is requesting the town consider installing speed cushions on some of the more heavily traveled streets in the Pines subdivision.
Victoria Killmon, a resident of the subdivision and alternate member of the Ayden Planning Board, came before the Ayden Board of Commissioners May 9 on behalf of residents of the subdivision who have signed a petition requesting speed cushions be installed on Wildwood and Pinewood drives and Cedar Lane.
Stephen Smith, Ayden’s community and economic planner, was instructed by commissioners to take the petition to the planning board for consideration.
The petition is being considered to determine if it is a valid request under the town’s traffic calming policy, according to Smith. If it is deemed valid, it will be discussed at the June 20 planning board meeting.
Speed cushions are needed due to traffic cutting through the subdivision from N.C. 102 to Old Snow Hill Road, according to Killmon.
“When walking through the neighborhood, it is hard to avoid Wildwood Drive and the speed of the traffic,” Killmon said. “These roads also have more litter on them than other roads in the subdivision; I even collected hypodermic needles around Christmas.”
As required by the town’s traffic calming policy, Killmon has collected the signatures of at least 60 percent of the residents on several streets in the subdivision, including Wildwood, Pinewood, Bristlecone and Oakdale drives, Cedar Lane, Gumberry Road and Holly Street.
Traffic calming measures in the subdivision were also recommended in the town’s Community Vision 2030 comprehensive plan, which states, “The town should … explore the feasibility of installing traffic calming measures such as speed-bumps on streets within The Pines Subdivision to provide for public safety and mitigate the adverse impacts of cut-through traffic on the neighborhood.”
With construction slated to begin soon on the Southwest Bypass, now is the time to take action on this recommendation, according to Killmon.
“I thought this would be a good time to start implementing some of these plans that concern my subdivision,” Killmon said. “I suggest that each year the board adds additional speed cushions in the subdivision in anticipation of the closing of the entrance from N.C. 102 and the completion of the Southwest Bypass.”
While the entrance to Wildwood drive from N.C. 102 will not be closed, there are plans to extend the median, which would prevent cars from traveling across N.C. 102 from Wildwood to the Food Lion shopping center, according to Smith.
Commissioner Donald Skinner agreed that there is a problem with cut through traffic in the neighborhood, but cautioned that residents may not be happy with speed cushions once they are installed.
“We do, in that area, have a lot of problems with speeding, both on Wildwood and Pinewood,” Skinner said. “Once you put them down, they’re there … most of the people in Westhaven now probably wish they didn’t have speed bumps … but we do really have a problem on Wildwood and Pinewood.”
Former Ayden Mayor Marvin Baldree, who came before the board to request that Wildwood Drive be resurfaced, also noted the problems with speeding on the street.
“There’s not many streets in Ayden that are as traveled as Wildwood Drive … people use it to cut through to go to Food Lion, McDonald’s, Bojangles, and I know you can’t control that,” Baldree said. “Also, maybe consider some more (police) patrols on Wildwood Drive because when people leave Snow Hill Street coming down Wildwood Drive, I would say 75 percent of the cars travel over the speed limit, and they hardly ever stop at the stop sign.
“I believe you could pay an officer’s salary with the fines you could collect on that street.”
The board took no official action.
The Times Leader serves southern Pitt County including Ayden, Grifton and Winterville.