More changes in store for town streets

Published 3:18 pm Friday, August 11, 2023

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AHOSKIE – Town leaders here continue to make changes to improve the safety of residents living near the Ahoskie Creek Park while making it convenient for those visiting that area.

At its meeting held July 11, members of the Ahoskie Town Council approved the removal of the barricades on Lakeview Drive and permanently open the gate on Camlin Street. That action came on the heels the town hosting a five-day regional softball tournament. Those attending the event became frustrated when they could see the ballfields as they entered the Ahoskie Creek Park, but found their path blocked to the parking areas set up off Lakeview Drive. The culprit blocking that access were barricades erected years ago by the town on the northern edge of Lakeview Drive.

The barricades were removed and the Camlin Street gate was opened one week after that July meeting.

“Since that action was taken, [town] staff has received numerous calls from residents in this neighborhood,” said Ahoskie Town Manager Leigh Etheridge. “Concerns have been made regarding safety, speeding, racing, people in the park at late hours, and trash being discarded.

“Upon receiving several calls from concerned citizens, I scheduled a meeting on June 20 to hear everyone’s concerns collectively. The town staff and attorney assured the citizens that we would take their concerns and make recommended actions to address these concerns,” Etheridge added.

Those recommendations include changing three intersections to “all-way” stops: Camlin and Pembroke, Pembroke and Stokes, and Pembroke and Sunset.

Other suggestions are to install three new speed bumps: on Camlin Street near Lakeview Drive; on Lakeview between Camlin and Edgewood; and near the entrance of the parking lot of the large picnic shelter.

Etheridge also recommended lowering the speed limit (25 mph to 20 mph) on Camlin Street, Stokes Street, Woodlawn Drive, and Lakeview Drive. She also suggested to lower the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on the portion of Pembroke Ave. that is south of West Memorial Drive; on the portion of Curtis Street south of West Memorial Drive; and along West Memorial Drive from Academy Street to the Ahoskie Creek ballfields.

Another change in the speed limit (from 25 mph to 10 mph) is suggested for the entirety of Edgewood Drive (the circle street in front of the amphitheater). That is an area popular for individuals to exercise (walking, jogging, biking, walking pets).

It was also recommended to erect additional signage showing Evans Street (off NC 42) as the main entrance to the Ahoskie Creek Park as well as posting and enforcing the park hours from dawn to dusk (except during town sponsored events or if that area is reserved for a function.)

“Please note that we’re looking at all our parks to make sure we’re being consistent,” Etheridge said.

“This is a starting point for all of our parks. We’re going to look at every park we operate to see if changes are needed in speed limits, stop signs, etc,” said Councilman David Hunt.

Stephen Lassiter, Ahoskie’s Public Works Director, said it would take approximately four weeks for the material items needed to make the changes at the Ahoskie Creek Park to be ordered and shipped.

The recommendations made by Etheridge required two separate motions, one for the speed bumps and additional signage at the park, and one to amend the town ordinance in regards to the lowering of the speed limit on the aforementioned streets and the installation of all-way stops at the intersections mentioned earlier in this story.

Both motions were approved by 5-0 votes.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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