Some Oak Ridge residents wanted traffic circles built in that town to address increasing congestion issues, while others simply wanted added turn lanes and roads widened at conventional intersections – and now it looks like everyone might get their wish.
Or, at least, it looks like traffic circle opponents and proponents alike will get some part of what they’ve been hoping for. The town has been debating for months what to do regarding three busy intersections in Oak Ridge and a resolution in the town’s agenda packet, for the Thursday, July 11 Oak Ridge Town Council meeting, calls for the town to request a “hybrid” plan of the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
The document, which is expected to be voted on at the meeting, states that the Town Council “supports NCDOT’s recommendation of a signalized intersection improvement at NC 68/NC 150 and roundabouts at Marketplace Drive/NC 150 and Linville Road/NC 68.”
There currently seems to be a good deal of support on the Town Council for this mixed plan that calls for creating traffic circles at two congested intersections, but not doing so at the town’s central intersection of NC 68 and NC 150. The plan under consideration calls, instead, for a renovating that intersection and adding turn lanes – along with other improvements meant to create better traffic flow.
Oak Ridge Town Council Member George McClellan said this week that he wants to hear the discussion at the meeting but he added that he does think the hybrid plan is a good one. He said he can’t speak for other council members but that his impression is that they’re also leaning in that direction.
“From what I heard, I think they are inclined to go that route,” McClellan said.
There’s no guarantee that the NCDOT will honor the wishes of the Town Council; however, McClellan said, on most road projects Oak Ridge has had in the past the NCDOT has given a great deal of weight to the town’s wishes.
“I get the impression that they like this plan since they sent us the options,” he said of the NCDOT,