NCDOT holds public meeting on Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvements
Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2018
By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier
After addressing the Clemmons Village Council in May on possible Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvements, including a median from I-40 to Stadium Drive, the NCDOT held a public meeting at River Oaks Community Church on July 10 to give a brief presentation, show maps and answer questions.
It was the next step in the process following the work session prior to the May 14 council meeting with Pat Ivey, Division 9 engineer, and representatives from Kimley-Horn.
Teresa Gresham, a consultant from Kimley-Horn, led that discussion before council with findings from a feasibility study on solutions to address safety and traffic flow on the busy road.
She shared similar information in three 10-minute presentations — all covering the same content — to the public, which had the opportunity to look at various maps and stats regarding the project along with offering their views and asking questions of the staff.
Gresham again reiterated that the purpose of the proposed median from I-40 to Stadium (about 1,300 feet and just 20 percent of the overall corridor) is all about safety with crash rates almost three times the statewide rate for roads with a similar number of lanes and traffic volumes. On the remainder of the corridor (about 5,500 feet and 80 percent of the overall corridor) down to U.S. 158, no changes are proposed.
“The rest of the corridor we are not proposing a median because it’s not needed for safety,” Gresham said. “We’ve heard from the community for the last couple of years…”
Unlike the presentation before the council, Gresham mentioned the addition of a signal at Sessions Court, but she said at the NCDOT meeting that the signal was part of the plan all along and that perhaps she might have simply failed to mention it in the earlier session.
The mayor and three new members of the council were elected on an anti-median campaign last November. They decided against rescinding a resolution in place by the previous council in support of a median in January after learning the I-40 interchange was tied to the road project and worried reversing the resolution could impact a traffic study that was in place. They opted later to pass a resolution “to support continued study and possible improvements” instead of a firm “no” to a median.
Those gathered seemed to have mixed opinions on the median, but the main reason for the meeting was for the public get more information and have a chance to provide input and ask questions.
The project map and handout from the meeting at River Oaks can be found at https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings .
Clemmons residents in attendance were encouraged to provide written comments and can also submit comments via email to Connie James of NCDOT at firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 8. The NCDOT will then meet again with the Village Council to discuss where things stand with the project.
Gresham said that now is the time for the community to respond.
“The bottom line is if we hear from the community that the kind of ideas the department has come up with to address the needs out there — that we’re on the right track — that, yes, we understand there are some impacts but that the impacts are worth the benefits, then we will keep moving. We will go to the council and present to them a summary of what we’ve heard from you then, and if they also give us their thumbs up, then we will do some more detailed designs and come back to the public again.
“If on the other hand, we get a resounding thumbs down from the community and the council, then the department will step away. It’s important to find a solution that is right-sized, and we think we’ve found that, but we really want to hear from you.”
In addition, Gresham said that the changes are needed for the I-40 interchange, but that will come later.
“The interchange has got issues,” she said. “We wanted to defer specific solutions on the interchange until we made sure we were on the right track.”