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More NCDOT Miscommunication?

If you click the title you will be taken to an article written a few days ago (August 26) about efforts to redevelop Main Street through downtown High Point. The main point of the article is that when the street is no longer designated as US 311 Business, the city and local development groups can take control of the road and move ahead on efforts to revitalize the corridor. Most of the efforts currently involve slowing traffic down through reducing speed limits, possibly narrowing the road from 4 lanes to 2 with wider sidewalks and medians, plus other traffic calming measures which all believe will help stimulate the local economy.

The story is based on one big assumption though, that NCDOT hasn't given back Main Street to local control. But, in fact it has. Last November NCDOT submitted an application to remove the US 311 Business designation from Main Street to AASHTO's US Route Numbering committee. They approved the application. According to the NCDOT application, upon AASHTO approval, the street designation would 'be reclassified from a US Route to a Secondary Route' (SR). So by the beginning of this year, Main Street was in fact locally controlled.

Why didn't the reporter or the groups and city officials interviewed know about this? Perhaps NCDOT didn't inform them of the approval of the application? Though anyone could look up the decision online. Perhaps it's just because NCDOT has not removed all the Business 311 signs and everyone assumed as long as the signs are up it's still a US route. One of High Point's traffic camera's (Number 34) still shows a Business 311 sign at the corner of Main and Lexington Avenue. My trip through the corridor last spring also saw several other Business US 311 signs six months after the AASHTO approval.

I e-mailed the reporter with this information and told him he was free to pass it along to all the groups quoted in the article. It will be interesting to see if any blame is placed on the local NCDOT district office for making all the groups wait on presenting plans, when they didn't have to (or embarrassing them publicly). The local district has to know about the change because they put up new signs on US 311 South at Main Street after the old ones had been taken down by a tornado. The signs no longer list Business 311, just Main Street. My piece of advice: assumption is the mother of all screw-ups, this particularly applies when NCDOT is involved.

Comments

Larry G said…
so.... why is this a problem....anyhow?

is there some downside to this that would have been known had NCDOT told everyone?

I guess I'm not "getting it"
Bob Malme said…
No downside. I was just commenting on the apparent ignorance on the part of public and private groups in W-S over the status of Business 311. That they were having an important enough meeting for a reporter to attend over what to do when 311 Business is decommissioned, when it already was decommissioned a year ago. I will monitor the paper to see if there is a follow-up article and see how the oversight is explained.

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