01/06/06 — Committee weighs limits on billboards

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Committee weighs limits on billboards

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on January 6, 2006 1:53 PM

Making highways in Wayne County safer will be a chief aim of the county Transportation Committee this year, members said at their meeting Tuesday.

Committee members discussed several ways to reduce accidents at key intersections and crossings, including adding flashing lights at schools and stoplights at some intersections.

They also discussed limiting the number of billboards permitted along some roads.

County Commissioner Atlas Price said too many billboards distract drivers and reduce the scenic beauty of the county.

Price said county officials have adopted measures to limit billboards along some roads and that municipal officials need to help in the effort.

"We have taken care of signs in the county, but the cities haven't. Hopefully, we can stop the signs up and down the highways. It clutters the side views of the driver and eliminates the beautiful views we have," Price said.

A county ordinance prohibits billboards within 1,000 feet of any road designated as a freeway.

Goldsboro City Councilman Chuck Allen suggested committee members present the issue to each municipal board in the county to gauge their feelings about limiting signs.

In other business, committee members reviewed the county's secondary roads report for the past year. Several roads were paved and others were added to the state system. The two roads paved in 2005 were Morris Road, at a cost of $99,206, and Beaver Dam Road, at a cost of $194,206.

Five road-paving projects still under way involve Owens Farm, Barwick, Farmer, Atlantic and White Memorial Church roads. Some have a long way to go before they are paved, said county Planning Director Connie Price.

Members also discussed lowering the speed limit along a portion of Nahunta School Road. Local officials asked the state to reduce the speed limit between N.C. 581 and Morris Road from 55 to 45 mph. Signs should soon be up denoting the new limit, members said. They also went on record endorsing county commissioners request that state and federal officials designate U.S. 117 an interstate highway.