DOT razzle dazzle

Published 8:39 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

To the Editor:

If you have seen what the NCDOT has in mind for you for intersection design for the new four lane US 158/13 you may wonder out loud, “what are you guys smoking”.

The idea is that it is best to turn right when you are going left and then make a U-turn to go back where you just came from, crossing two lanes of traffic (large trucks) that will block both lanes of traffic.

This is an idea that someone came up with that they, (do not know who “they” are), think is safer.  If you leave South Mills going on to US 17 you will see an intersection that seems to work just fine for cars and trucks.  If you are going south on US 17 you will cross the north- bound lane of traffic, cross on to the median, turn left into the left lane of traffic that leaves the right lane open for traffic.  Is this not simple? 

When we have to deal with people and their egos and the need to be seen, you have, perhaps the largest challenge in the world.  The challenge is to have someone big enough to say, “you may be right and I may be wrong”.

Years ago I was on the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study Commission.  Most members were there to blame agriculture for water pollution.  To them, we, the farmers, were the problem and they were not about to change their minds.

At one meeting, the US Corp of Army Engineers presented a program on a study they had done in Hyde County, NC and Eastern Shore, VA.  This was a Corp study, it was not USDA, NCDA or Farm Bureau study.  What the Corp did was monitor the water in the ditches and canals after rain storms to see what was the rise in nutrients in the ditches and canals that would show the nutrient runoff.  The Corp found out what the farmers already knew, nutrients do not go lateral.  This test was also done in Eastern Shore, VA using irrigation with large amounts of water and guess what, little or no run off.

The point to this story is the Corp was thanked for the presentation and the “experts” went right back to preaching about agriculture runoff! 

What we have is a situation, “do not confuse me with facts and logic, I want this highway designed my way and public be damned.”

Earl Rountree