After two fatal accidents, three years and less than half a mile apart, the mayor of Oak Ridge and the people who live there wonder what to do.
Oak Ridge, North Carolina – Oak Ridge is known as a quiet and quiet place – except for Howe River Road.
“There are cars that keep going,” said neighbor Rachel Sherman. “It just got busier.”
As more homes are built in the area, more drivers are using the road to cut off the highway.
“There are curves, but there are mostly straight trails, so the cars are going really fast,” Sherman said. “It’s just a recipe for disaster.”
A Halloween car accident on the road killed a young teen and injured another. The accident occurred less than a mile away from an accident three years ago that killed an 11-year-old boy.
“Our hearts are all broken,” said Ann Schneider, mayor of Oak Ridge.
Schneider said she was also concerned about the Haw River Road.
“What was once a rural highway is now the backbone of a whole host of neighborhoods,” she said.
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Pushing for a better road:
“That means we have to go to the North Carolina Department of Transportation and ask them to come up with some solutions for us,” she said.
One option, drop the speed limit. It currently has a speed of 45 mph – 10 miles faster than most city roads through neighborhoods.
“We need a way to slow the traffic. And make it safer. And make it more convenient to the residential area it’s become,” Schneider said.
The neighbors have other ideas.
“I’d like to see one of those blinking speedometer-type things,” Sherman said. “That would be very helpful. Also more speed limit signs and maybe light up the road if possible. There’s nothing wrong with trying to be safer for the kids.”
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