My Turn by Tony Misenheimer: Residents concerns ignored on Old Beatty Ford Road
All “experts” are from out-of-town. I often heard this phrase when in engineering at Cannon Mills. DOT is from out-of-town, and views from the affected public don’t matter. Regarding the Old Beatty Ford Road project (which would relocate a section of the road, with an I-85 interchange sometime in the future), we attended brief meetings with DOT, and I have engineered drawings of my area of destruction. Residents had the opportunity and forms to express their concerns in writing.
Eighty percent (plus or minus) wish the speed limit would be reduced to 45 mph and speed laws enforced to keep our area safe, rural and farmable. A condensed version of my comment is as follows:
Old Beatty Ford is currently a racetrack. Accidents are frequent due to low visibility, speeding and heavy truck traffic. A 45 mph speed limit will divert truck traffic to Highway 152, which is designed for heavy loads. Widening it will turn Old Beatty Ford into a super speedway. Signage should be installed by DOT saying: “Welcome to OBF Super Speedway, check local standings in the obituary column of the Salisbury Post.”
The millions of tax dollars saved could support enough additional Highway Troopers (and their families) to enforce the lower speed limit. End of comment.
Rural neighbors try to help each other when it comes to farming. It’s now too dangerous to operate equipment on the road. One example: I had no turn signals on my 1972 Harley. It was manufactured without them. One would use hand signals to let drivers know your intention. To make a left turn, extend your arm straight out to the left. Performing this function on an old tractor is viewed as “Come on around!” Interesting things happen.
On a tractor pulling a trailer loaded with 10 round bales of hay, I was passed by a trucking company vehicle, well known on Old Beatty Ford Road, in a blind, lefthand curve. That was my last on-road experience. No help for neighbors, the equipment stays on the farm.
People are in such a hurry and leave their brains at home. It’s time to slow down, respect other drivers, use common courtesy and be safe. Always use good judgment when traveling Old Beatty Ford. Maybe I won’t have to repair my fence quite as often.
A special thanks to Trooper D. T. Sloop, his brother in the Highway Patrol and all associated enforcement officers who work diligently to protect our rights and keep our highways safe. We, as residents, owe them so much. Thank you!
Tony D. Misenheimer lives in Rockwell.