Separate events bring Bermuda Run traffic to a standstill

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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By Jim Buice

Enterprise Record

BERMUDA RUN – Officials here have responded to traffic that “caused significant disruption across much of our town” the weekend of April 29-30 with a pledge to address why it happened and hopefully to take steps preventing a recurrence.

Mayor Rick Cross, in a statement receiving the backing and approval of council, said that a tournament at Truist Sports Park that weekend prompted providing additional communication and perspective along with gathering the appropriate parties together to address the situation.

“Traffic in areas of town was brought to a crawl for long periods,” Cross said. “It was noticed that equipment was being stored in the emergency exit path behind RISE (when notified, the equipment was removed), and those trying to get into the sports park were parking vehicles outside the park – including along roads in Kinderton Village, in parking areas dedicated to events for WinMock and Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home, as well as along US 158 and in neighborhoods across the bridge in Clemmons.

“As your mayor and town council, we find this situation to be truly unacceptable as it had a negative impact on our residents, businesses, law enforcement, emergency services and visitors to our town.”

Cross said that NC Fusion accepted responsibility and acknowledged it was a poorly planned and executed event.

The mayor and council directed Town Manager Andrew Meadwell to meet with representatives of the sports facilities to address the issues that arose that weekend. That occurred on Friday, May 5, with Cross and Meadwell meeting with representatives from NC Fusion, RISE, WinMock, Davie County Sheriff’s Office and the Davie County Fire Marshal’s Office to get more information and seek solutions.

Cross included a statement from NC Fusion: “On behalf of Truist Sports Park, we recognize the events hosted by NC Fusion and RISE Indoor Sports this past weekend contributed to an extremely poor experience for all.”

Factors mentioned included attendance for the soccer event being much larger than anticipated, resulting in inadequate parking and operational support; certain grass parking lots being closed due to significant rain leading up to the event; not having enough sheriff’s deputies and staff directing traffic on Saturday; and the need for better communication from all in a coordinated effort.

Cross said that the parties involved are clearly aware of the concerns and working to make improvements “as they impact our residents, businesses and to the visitors who are critical to the success of these sporting events.”

Cross then added: “We all understand that there will be times when traffic is heavier than normal, there will be events at any of our several venues – Truist Sports Park, RISE, WinMock, Bermuda Run Country Club or even our town square during a concert. Those that are sponsoring those events must be prepared and able to minimize the impact on our community and those communities around us.”

Also in last Tuesday night’s council meeting, two citizens commented on the recent traffic issues associated with RISE/Truist Sports Park with Tina Goins saying she felt better after talking with the mayor and town manager along with having the open communication.

Lennie Ring said he appreciated the insight provided by the mayor and council member Mike Brannon, which helped ease his “heartburn” regarding the matter.

In other highlights from last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:

• Approved an NCDOT landscape maintenance agreement along the I-40 interchange at Exit 180 and including the pedestrian bridge over I-40.

• Approved an agreement for stream restoration projects with Pilot View RC&D Inc.

Staff had recommended action to allow the town manager and town attorney to negotiate and execute an agreement to seek funding for rehabilitation of the Bahnson Lakes that have been between I-40 and what is now the Kinderton Village neighborhood since the early 1930s.

• Approved an agreement for the Bahnson Lakes stream restoration projects.

• Received an update from Meadwell that the Blue Heron Trail’s final “punch list” is being completed with Phase I hopefully opening by the end of May.

• Heard that Envision will kick off the Summer Concert Series on Saturday, May 27, at 7 p.m. at the Town Square.

• Recognized Cindy Poe for Municipal Clerk’s Week and thanked her for all she does for the town.

• Heard a presentation from Kim Shuskey, who gave an overview of the functions, services and responsibilities of the Senior Services Department in Davie County.

• Heard from Cross that the town has been working to move voting for this year’s election on Nov. 7 to the Calvary West Campus from Hillsdale Baptist Church.

Along with that news, Cross made a personal comment in a overall message he put out on May 1 that he would not be running for the role of mayor in 2023.

“Although serving as mayor for the Town of Bermuda Run, and the various roles in which I served previously, continues to be a source of gratification, energy and inspiration for me, I have made the deeply personal decision not to run again this year,” he said. “I am committed to serving our town and will continue to do so. I will continue to serve energetically until after this year’s elections.”