By Mark Wineka
Downtown police officers will soon be sporting a new mode of transportation.
Salisbury City Council has approved $11,950 to purchase two Segways, two-wheeled electronic scooters used in pedestrian areas.
Users lean forward in the devices to move forward and lean back to go in reverse. Turns are made by leaning to the left or right.
They can go as fast as 12.5 mph, according to a company Web site.
One Segway will be used by the Police Department’s regular downtown officer; the other, by the parking control officer.
Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said the Segways are on order. The downtown officer will continue to use his bicycle, Wilhelm said, but the Segway will serve as another option ó for use at downtown events, for example.
The money to pay for the Segways is coming from the department’s asset forfeiture funds, which are restricted to the department.
Council also has passed numerous actions related to streets.
Neal Boyd, coordinator for the Crossroads Classic Bike Race, requested the closure of several streets for the annual downtown event, which will be held Aug. 2.
Streets will be closed from 5 to 11 p.m., and they include the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of North Main Street; 100 block of East Liberty Street; 200 block of North Lee; 100 block of East Council; 100 block of West Liberty; 300 and 400 blocks of North Church; and 100 block of West Cemetery.
The closure of North Main Street will have to be approved by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
In a planning session for the event, Lt. Melonie Thompson of the Police Department said, the city decided to ask the DOT to close North Main Street from the Square (Innes Street) through the 400 block.
Council also voted to accept numerous streets for maintenance by the city.
In Phase 1 of Drummond Village, a new subdivision off Stokes Ferry Road, streets added to the city system will include Edzell Drive and Inverness Lane, a total of .31 mile.
Council also accepted four streets in the second phase of The Gables at Kepley Farm ó Cordova Court, Garner Drive, River Birch Drive and Sonoma Lane ó that total .34 mile.
In both cases, the streets qualify for state Powell Bill funds as of July 1 and remain under warranty by the developer for a year.
Because of a recent annexation, which becomes effective June 30, several streets off U.S. 29 that were under N.C. DOT maintenance will become city-maintained streets.
They include Alan Circle, Dove Meadow Drive, Drew Circle, Elyse Avenue, Mike Drive, Sidney Drive and Steven Drive.
The city also will accept Old Wilkesboro Road, Partee Street and Monroe Street into the city system as improvements are completed by the DOT.The improvements are complete on Old Wilkesboro Road and Partee Street, but repairs must still be completed on Monroe Street.
The annexation streets, Old Wilkesboro Road and Partee Street will add 3.11 miles of road to the city system, as of June 30.Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or email@example.com.
By Mark Wineka