Narrow Streets Are Safer!

Narrow Streets Are Safer!

Recently, studies have been mentioned in social media and in published letters and emails to suggest that narrow streets are safer. Your Town agrees! What is the definition of a “narrow street”? Many recent studies state that “narrow” streets are streets no greater than 26 feet wide, and are the safest. Except for a previously paved parking observation area on Hillcrest Drive, none of the streets in Southern Shores are any wider than 22 feet. According to the width standards cited in recent studies, all of our streets in Southern Shores, both new and old, are considered to be “narrow”.

Our older, failing narrow streets that already meet minimum width standards for safety, as many in our Town do, will not be increased in width during any rebuild project. If the width of one of our streets is adjusted, it will result in a street that is still classified as “narrow” by all the quoted studies and standards. There is no program in the Town of Southern Shores to create a “wide” street as that term is discussed in the studies.

Your Town is committed to maintaining its 39 miles of public municipal streets in a manner which preserves the ambiance of your beach, dune, and wooded community, strives to protect vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian safety, and is respectful of your tax dollars. Many of these streets have reached, or are reaching, the limit of their structural usefulness. In many instances the most cost effective maintenance approach is to rebuild them using proper materials and standards to insure a longer and safer life. The standards your Town uses to rebuild these aging and failing streets stipulates that tree preservation be maximized. Only those street-adjacent trees which pose a threat to the safety of the travelling public, threaten the integrity of the street itself, or inhibit proper management of stormwater emanating from the impervious street surfaces would be removed.

Misstatements of fact read on social media, published letters, or emails – whether intentional or not, are always easy to quickly accept as fact. Taxpayers and residents of Southern Shores are encouraged to verify any published statement or rumor by simply calling the Town staff or contacting any Town official. Ask for the truth of the matter!

FACT: There simply are no “clear cutting” or “street widening” programs in the Town of Southern Shores.