Cape Carteret will use stop signs to slow neighborhood speeders

Residential intersections, like this one at Manatee Street and Loma Linda Drive, could soon have four-way stop signs instead of signs that direct motorists to stop only before entering the major street from a side street. (Brad Rich photo)

CAPE CARTERET —Motorists on neighborhood streets in Cape Carteret might soon see more stop signs in the future.

Town commissioners, during their monthly meeting conducted via GoToMeeting Monday night, gave Town Manager Zach Steffey the authority to use his own discretion in deciding where to put stop signs.

The manager described it as a less cumbersome process that should result in more four-way-stop intersections to reduce speeding in neighborhoods, a common complaint from residents. The intent is mainly directed at the long streets, such as Manatee and Dolphin, that run from Highway 24 all the way south to Bogue Sound.

There have long been stop signs on the side streets, such as Loma Linda Drive, but motorists have not been required to stop heading north or south on the long, straight streets that lead from the highway to the water.

“This will allow me to make four-way stops after consulting with the police department and the public works department,” Mr. Steffey told the board Monday. “I think it will be helpful in slowing down traffic on residential streets, and I think there will be a lot of benefit from that.”

Commissioner Jeff Waters, a former police chief in Emerald Isle, made the motion to approve the change.

Commissioner Mike King said he agreed the additional stop signs should help safety on the long streets in the Bayshore Park and Old Cape Carteret neighborhoods, where motorists sometimes speed to get to traffic signals at Highway 24 before they change from green to red.

Commissioner Steve Martin agreed, though he said a four-way stop at the intersection where he lives will result in vehicles stopping in front of his house at Live Oak Drive and Park Avenue. He said he gets phone calls almost every day about speeding in the area.

Mr. Waters said he knows there will be some complaints about new stop signs, but safety is the top priority.

Mr. Steffey said Manatee Street, which runs between the west side of the town hall property and the east side of the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant, is the top priority for action because of the volume of complaints. He also said there could be more stop signs in other residential areas, too, if complaints warrant them.

Commissioner Don Miller, a former police chief in Cape Carteret, emphasized that putting up four-way stops shouldn’t be a “blanket” practice, but should be done as needed, on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Steffey agreed.

The motion to give Mr. Steffey the additional authority passed 5-0 and also includes a change that will allow town police to write state citations for running stop signs rather than writing town ordinance violation tickets.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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