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Northwood traffic problem and beyond

By Gary Simpson
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - As a resident of Russet Run (across from the entrance to Northwood High School), I want to thank my neighbor, Nancy Reichle, of the Carolina Living and Learning Center (CLLC) for her post citing the potential for tragedy due to the "creative solution" that many people have found to waiting at the start of each school day on 15/501 at the entrance to the High School for the traffic light to change. Loooooong lines of cars waiting to enter the campus prove that "necessity is the mother of invention." These students are quick learners when it comes to beating the traffic system, but as Ms. Reichle points out, this alternative method for quicker entry is an accident waiting to happen.

This already dangerous intersection will continue to become much more hazardous as zealous commercial and mixed use development continues to increase along the 64-15/501 corridor. With an insatiable appetite for development and its alleged monetary windfall for town and county government, we will soon find the next quadrant being built out to be located directly opposite the High School's entrance. This fact does not bode well for students who are getting used to having it their way on Russet Run, or for the staff of CLLC and residents of Russet Run and the roads beyond who already know the potential for disaster that lurks at the corner of Russet Run and Suttles Drive. Now is the time to find a solution to the solution that ingenious drivers have created to deal with their impatience and/or lack of time management. Thanks to CLLC for getting the ball rolling.

A final thought on the BIGGER picture: As the red carpet has been rolled out for, and the keys to the kingdom handed over to mega development and the relatively few who are richly rewarded by it, in the name of individual rights and pseudo-economic development, the stresses and strains that are placed on systems and resources eventually form a critical mass. As we rightly worry about the potential for bodily injury or death on Russet Run by two autos impacting one another, we must also rightly worry about the greater harm caused by the accumulative impact of creating a Frankenstein in our county and towns when those in the places of power were promising a "Million Dollar Man."

More importantly, beyond mere worry, it is the duty of concerned citizens to convert fretting into positive action, and to assert their power to forge a future that preserves the quality of life that has kept them in, or brought them to this special place that has been so blessed by natural resources, rural heritage and diverse cultures. Let's open our minds, put on our thinking caps, roll up our sleeves and flex our citizens' muscles in this critical year of 2006. Let's amass our own "critical mass" of folks who will work relentlessly to re-form our future and re-store our past.

Thanks to Gene for creating and maintaining this community forum where those who choose to can share thoughts and feelings about the quality of life in the place where they live, and neighbors can learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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