China Grove looking into buying traffic light for area near Carson High
By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó After two years of trying to get the state to put a traffic light on N.C. 152 near Carson High School, town officials may be ready to try a new plan ó buy a traffic light.
Town officials have adopted a resolution, talked to N.C. Department of Transportation officials, lobbied state legislators and asked the county for help.
Lacking a light at N.C. 152 and Kress Ventures Drive, the county and school system pay a deputy sheriff to direct traffic during peak periods morning and evening.
Barbara Welter, wife of alderman Allen Welter, appealed to the board Tuesday night to take action to avoid serious or fatal accidents. Welter said the 1,033 students along with staff and parents are at risk.
Welter said if a traffic light costs $70,000, the town should make it the No. 1 priority in the new budget.
“Have we done all we can to get a light at Carson?” asked Alderman Lee Withers.
Mayor Don Bringle recounted the town’s efforts, adding that the state said the town could buy a traffic light. But Bringle noted that intersection at Kress Ventures Drive and N.C. 152 is not in the town limits.
Mayor Pro Tem Blair Lyseski suggested the town find out what a traffic light costs and ask the county and school officials to help pay for the light.
Money isn’t the issue, according to County Commissioner Jim Sides.
“The state won’t allow a traffic light,” said Sides on Thursday. “The Department of Transportation has determined that no traffic light is warranted. If it was a matter of money, the county would have already done it.”
Sides said the county has no authority over the road, adding that the town of China Grove might have more leeway if the intersection was in the town limits.
Although the school is inside the town, the intersection leading to it is outside.
During the board meeting Tuesday night, aldermen indicated support for Lyseski’s idea to seek joint funding, but the conversation quickly moved to another traffic light.
Withers said a developer has approached the town to get a traffic light on U.S. 29 at Bostian Street near the Stag N’Doe, where residential and commercial development is planned.
“You’ll need a bulletproof vest to save you if we put a traffic light there and not at Carson,” said Alderman Welter.
Bringle said the residential development is in Landis and suggested town officials talk with Landis about the light.
Lyseski said the town also needs specifics on the development that is planned, not broad statements that development will occur if a traffic light is installed.
As with N.C. 152, the state controls placement of lights on U.S. 29.