Letter to the editor: US 158/Farmington Rd. not compatible with planned roundabout

Published 1:59 pm Saturday, October 22, 2022

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To the editor:

Friends: more ground truth regarding the monstrosity at Farmington and US 158. The initial “sell” for all of this depended on Endeavor Drive being the primary entrance. Per NCDOT that is not sustainable given the future roundabout plans (email from district engineer provides input). This, of course, changes all of the baseline regarding the US 158 traffic. Trucks will have to do a 180 through the circle to turn in or a 90 and then an opposing left turn movement off of US 158 (will probably become the major entrance). This does not follow with the “sell” of minimal impact to the US 158 corridor.

Do you think planning will kick in regarding this impact? This is the sort of thing that gets “discovered” after concept and drives other mediation of initial unknowns. With the area use (local housing, commuter traffic along from I-40 and US 158, school traffic and local on Farmington Road) this is exactly the thing and fear presented in public hearing that in reality made this not an ideal spot for a 90-some acre operation. Downsized would mitigate some issues, but not all. Planning should have looked into the related future impacts (things mentioned at the public hearings, etc.). The major issues are about to happen, being created by our own accord.

Some hard questions need to be presented to the planning department folks and the EDC. This entire result does violate the tenets of the comp plan (at least as developed during the Piedmont-Triad work ups). Having such a thing near an interstate entrance is not always the best condition (contrary to certain statements at the public hearing of something like this being wanted there for 40 years).

Final entrances have not been approved. Based on my experiences, planning can now dictate some site reconfiguration and/or sizing changes to ameliorate the impacts (change in building locations, downsizing of facilities, internal circulation roads associated with a correct entrance scheme. Also, stormwater control – another issue – will also require footprint). Between this issue, the sight buffering not being accommodated per land use plans (will affect entrance locations, also), and now the real traffic flow issues, this I think has not, apparently, been completely thought through.

NC DOT District Engineer response regarding concept plan at Farmington Road/US-158:

“Endeavor Drive will not be sustainable for a primary entrance once the roundabout is installed at US 158 and Farmington. At that time (more than likely) an island will make Endeavor Drive right in right out only. On US 158 if the developer comes in as shown, much of US 158 will be a 3 lane section with turn lanes (right and left). Only a temporary permit has been issued so that some grading for the site can start, but the final entrances have not been approved. It will likely be similar to what you show below however. All entrances do exceed the required stopping sight distance.”

William Vaughan,     Mocksville