Representatives from the N.C. Department of Transportation visited the Lansing Board of Aldermen during their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, to recommend different methods of reducing the speed of vehicles passing through the town.
“Speeding has become a huge problem. When people come through town, they don’t slow down at all. Our speed limit is 20 mph, and they drive through at anywhere from 50-70 mph,” said Bernice Prestwood, Lansing’s town manager.
Dean Ledbetter, a traffic engineer from the DOT, presented the aldermen with maps showing his recommendations for the town.
The recommendations included adding a pedestrian crosswalk, three way stop signs to replace the town’s red light, and the restructuring of town parking.
With this new design, drivers passing through Lansing will need to slow down at the pedestrian crosswalk and stop when they reach the three-way stop signs; a way to curb speeding through the town.
“I think we should have added another stop sign instead of a crosswalk, but that’s just my opinion,” said Prestwood after the meeting.
These changes could remove one or two parking spaces frequently used by postal employees.
“We’ve made postal employees mad before,” said Ledbetter.
“But your not the one that will get yelled at,” joked George Rembert, Lansing’s mayor.
The N.C. DOT will begin this project “as soon as we can,” said Ledbetter. Most likely, this project will begin in the spring. The project could be completed sooner if a heat wave passes through during winter, but the pavement in town needs to be completely dry in order for the paint to stick.
Other measures were taken to prevent speeding during Monday’s meeting.
At the recommendation of the DOT, the Lansing aldermen recended their mandate for Lansing’s 45 mph speed limit leading into town. The speed limit, beginning in Lansign’s city limits, will now be the standard 35 mph until reaching the town’s 20 mph zone.
Alderman Brenda Johnson made a motion to recend the 45 mph speed limit in favor of the 35 mph speed limit. In a 4-0 vote, the board adopted the 35 mph limit.
With these new changes, Ledbetter said Lansing could potentially turn the corners of the town’s sidewalks into concrete landscaping, much like the landscaping in West Jefferson.
However, Ledbetter said the DOT probably wouldn’t fund that project. Instead, these funds would most likely come from grants, enhancement funds, or the board could use town funds in order to pay for new landscaping.
Also during the meeting, Wendy Painter from Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) reported the scenic byway project has been making headway.
“The byway will be a lengthy process, but at least it’s moving now,” said Painter.
The application for the Parks and Recreations Grant is due on Jan. 31.
“We’ll have to hustle,” said Painter. In spite of the upcoming deadline, Painter said “everything is falling into place - the time sensitive peices are moving.”
In order to finish the application for the park, GLAD will need to have three different properties in the Lansing area appraised. Also, the park will need to be mapped to scale for the application.
These expendatures could cost up to $1,000 according to Ann Rose, GLAD’s project manager. GLAD offered to pay half of the total expenses.
Alderman Jack Brown made a motion to authorize the town to spend up to $500 to submit the application. The board approved the submission with a 4-0 vote.
The board approved the submission of the application park grant in a 4-0 vote.
To conclude the meeting, Rembert said Lansing resident Patrick Leslie has volunteered to be a police officer of the town. The aldermen were intrigued by the potential revenue for the town through ticketing.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea,” said Rembert. “Find out what we can do.”
The board also attended to general business matters during the meeting:
- In a 4-0 vote, the board renewed Lansing’s membership with the Chamber of Commerce for a $110 fee.
- The board also renewed its business with Southern Software in a 4-0 vote.