25 Feb Road Safety / Streets & Roads Information
If you wish to read the committee’s entire unabridged (eleven-page) report on Roads and Road Safety Issues in Fearrington Village, CLICK HERE.
Road Safety Reminder: 4-Way Stop at Weathersfield & East Camden
Following a 2013 review by the NC Highway Department, the intersection at Weathersfield and East Camden returned to being a 4-Way stop (All Stop) intersection staring in November 2013.
Remember: STOP DOES NOT EQUAL YIELD. Old habits are sometimes not easy to break, so remember everyone must stop regardless of which direction they are coming from as they approach this intersection. This change was made because there have been quite a few close calls at that location as well as some actual accidents. This new traffic regulation ought to make this a much safer intersection as well as help to slow down the many who wiz by on Weathersfield at well over a safe speed.
Speed Monitors to increase the safety on all streets and roads in Fearrington Village for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
We have two speed monitoring devices to help remind drivers of their current speed. We want to maintain a safe environment for all of us. Our purpose is to make all motorists aware of our village-wide 25 mph speed limit, which is set by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
Eight different stations are in the most heavily traveled areas of the Village (in both directions on Beechmast, Millcroft Road, Villageway, and Weathersfield). The speed monitors are moved from station to station by dedicated volunteers. This variety allows for more effective coverage and helps remind more drivers of their speed. The newer unit is greatly improved in terms of technology and based on long-lasting solar battery life. It conveys data (including photos of speeding vehicles) immediately to an on-line traffic monitoring site that can analyze the information and present it in a useable form to the committee and FHA board. We will share information from the monitors in future articles.
The committee has also worked with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department and NCDOT to occasionally bring a mobile Speed Sentry radar unit to the Village. We had the support of the FHA and RB Fitch to make this happen and are proud to have achieved this milestone. Fearrington Village is the only community in NC that has legal permission from the NCDOT for placement and use of this mobile radar unit.
Ice and Snow Storms: State vs. Service Group Responsibility for Roadway Maintenance
The snow storm in January 2000 was described as the worst in 100 years, and the ice storm December 2002 was the worst ever. The effects of the ice and snow we experienced for much of the week of February 17 and 22, 2015 reminded us of the challenges we can face on our 80 streets and roads in the village. Since repeats are possible any time, some precautions are always appropriate:
- In most instances, residents should plan on having limited driving conditions and possibly slippery walking conditions for 12 – 48 hours following relatively rare instances of heavy snow and/or ice; street and road conditions typically improve quickly within that time frame. For emergency medical transportation in such weather, contact 911.
- The State of North Carolina owns 50 (61%) of the 82 streets and roads in the village. Recognize that only NCDOT and/or its duly authorized, suitably equipped contractors are allowed to plow, treat, or otherwise maintain any state secondary roads in Fearrington Village. The state must give priority to clearing main highways first, so patience may be necessary for NCDOT to get to the state secondary roads in the village as well as all across North Carolina. See this table for a list of the state-owned, state-maintained secondary roads in the village. State roads are shade in ROSE colored-fill background; service group owned roads are shaded with a light gray colored-fill background color. Note that the FHA does not own or maintain any roads in the village.
- During the three successive February 2015 ice and snow storms, NCDOT began to plow and treat our state roads within a day-and-half to two days following the end of each of the storms. Considering the 909 miles of hard paved roads they must cover just in District 8 (our district), their attention to our roads was quick and was very appreciated.
- Small neighborhood HOAs (service groups) are responsible for maintaining their own streets and are, therefore, responsible for any winter storm clearing or treatment they may feel is necessary or advisable. Six service groups own 32 (39%) of the streets and roads in the village. See this table for a list of roadways owned and maintained by the service groups. Note that the FHA does not own or maintain any roads in the village.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if provided. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, PLEASE WALK FACING TRAFFIC, so you can see oncoming cars. Walkers MUST step to the side when an oncoming car approaches.Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, you should wear clothing with material which reflects off the headlights of cars coming towards you. Carry a lighted flashlight.
Crossing the Street:
Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks. If there are none, always stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the roadway.
Keep looking for cars while you are crossing.
Never cross between parked cars.
Encourage your children and grandchildren to follow the safety tips for safe street crossing.
Be visible, wear fluorescent green, yellow or orange. They are all excellent choices. Other bikers, motorists and pedestrians will be able to see you better.
Always ride your bicycle with the flow of traffic.
If you must ride your bicycle at night, wear reflective clothing and have front and rear lights on.
Wear an approved helmet. Make sure that children wear their helmets.
Always wear shoes when riding a bicycle.
Bad road surfaces and potholes can cause accidents. Watch out for them.