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Crosswalk plan falls short

Mocksville’s – er, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s – plan to upgrade pedestrian safety in Downtown Mocksville falls short.

When I first looked at it, I thought it was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard. But I’ve backslid, a bit.

The plan will make one cross for Main Street in all of downtown, all the way from Gaither Street to Water Street and beyond. No other places to legally cross. You may be parked right across the street from the business or government office you plan to visit, but will have to walk across the quad to the stoplight, walk across Main Street, and then cross the quad on the other side.

Three crosswalk crossings instead of one doesn’t sound more safe, does it? Especially with the vehicles navigating the quad. Motorists turn onto it off of Main and Depot streets with little site vision. They use it for a short cut if the light is red. Adding more pedestrians to that mix doesn’t sound like a safe plan.

Actually, it’s a good plan. The crosswalk will come with curb extensions and better lighting.

Yes, it’s a good plan, but it falls short.

There needs to be more than one crossing of Main Street in downtown. Three would make sense.

While the town and DOT addressed the problem of the site of a fatal accident with a pedestrian in April, they didn’t look closely enough at an overall downtown pedestrian plan.

Why couldn’t the same crosswalk improvements be made at the Gaither Street/North Main Street stoplight? Not only would it give folks another – closer to their parking space – chance to cross, it would allow better access to the town’s downtown park, which as of yet, has no places for parking. And people could cross a street only once, not having to add two quad crossings. When events are held downtown, this intersection also gets a lot of pedestrian traffic.

The same can be done on South Main Street, maybe at Water Street. If it takes doing away with a parking space or two, do it. There’s a lot of business going on at the courthouse and county administration building, creating a lot of pedestrian traffic, some of whom aren’t familiar with local traffic and walking patterns.

Take it even farther and include Salisbury Street’s intersections with Gaither and Depot.

While the proposal is an improvement, it falls woefully short, and I wonder how many people will follow the crosswalks. I’m afraid this will just make more folks cross the street wherever they have parked. And for the town manager to say they may start writing citations for people crossing at the wrong place? Motorists have been speeding through downtown for years, and little or nothing has been done to stop that. Where are those citations?

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You would think your address would be easy to find, but that’s not always the case.

A woman who lives on Lakeview Road wrote about her situation. It seems there is also a Lakeview Drive in Mocksville. House numbers correspond on those roads, meaning she often gets mail and deliveries from Lakeview Drive, and the folks living on Lakeview Drive sometimes get her mail/deliveries.

She had reached the end of her rope when she renewed her driver’s license online and it went to the wrong address.

It shouldn’t be this difficult, but in these days of computer-generated addressing, it happens. We’ve had trouble getting a newspaper to a person with a legitimate Davie County address, all because a computer program didn’t recognize the new address. It can be hard to bypass those programs, but it is possible.

Davie County assigns street numbers and names. Numbers change after so many feet. If the addresses are entered correctly, the correct person should receive the mail. Period. If correctly addressed mail or deliveries is going to the wrong address, that’s the fault of the deliverer – be it the post office or UPS or whatever.

There are several streets or roads with similar-sounding names such as Lakeview Drive and Lakeview Road. County officials do not allow similar sounding names. According to the rules, “Proposed names cannot duplicate by sound or spelling any other existing road name in the County and the towns.” So I’ll just assume these road names were in place before those rules were adopted.

– Mike Barnhardt