NCDOT Addresses Ocracoke Concerns

Crystal Canterbury
NCDOT Addresses Ocracoke Concerns

New traffic patterns planned for Ocracoke Village and Highway 12.

In an attempt to slow motorists and discourage texting-messaging while driving, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has created plans to build traffic circles – also known as roundabouts – at various intersections in Ocracoke Village. The leaked plans also indicate the DOT plans to make some changes to speed limits.

“You’d think Back Road was some major highway with the way people speed on it,” said one local when asked about everyday traffic concerns.

Another local chimed in, saying, “And people drive down British Cemetery Road like they’re in the Indy 500!” Combatting speeding motorists is only one of the problems the NCDOT hopes to solve with roundabouts.

Texting while driving has become a major problem no matter the time of year.

“Our thinking,” said a spokesperson for the DOT, who spoke to me only under the condition of anonymity, “Is that people will be too busy driving around the traffic circles to text and drive.”

NCDOT Addresses Ocracoke Concerns

Where can we expect to see these traffic circles? “Wherever the heck we feel like puttin’ ‘em,” said yet another anonymous source.

According to the leaked blueprints, plans are being made to put traffic circles at British Cemetery Road and Back Road, as well as at Back Road and Mark’s Path, Back Road and the Ocracoke Health Center, Back Road and Sunset Drive, Back Road and Old Beach Road, and Back Road and Irvin Garrish Highway. We’re also likely to see roundabouts installed at the intersection of Irvin Garrish Highway and Lighthouse Road, Lighthouse Road and the Lighthouse, Irvin Garrish Highway and Silver Lake Drive, and Irvin Garrish Highway and Water Plant Road.

“We’re trying to keep people on their toes,” said the first spokesperson. “Heck, we might even throw in a couple traffic lights for good measure!”

Ocracoke's county commissioner Tom Pahl backs the DOT's plans. "As many of you will recall, some time back, I asked for your input on road marking and signage issues that you’d like to see maintained and/or improved, including the confusing intersections at Sunset/Trent and at the wide turn at Back Road. When we met with DOT engineers a few weeks ago, they said that they would review all of the concerns and address them as they are able. This is amazingly fast work for them," Tom posted on Facebook.

When questioned about preventing motorists from speeding past the reduced speed signs when entering the village, the second spokesperson said, “We’re considering lowering the speed limit to 25mph at the pony pens; that way people have about 7 miles to reduce their speed before entering the village.”


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