Safety Versus Convenience Debate Over US-70 Median

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says replacing open turn lanes on the US-70 East business corridor with a median will increase driver safety, but business owners say the median will limit access to their shops.

A 2008 traffic study shows there were 39 crashes within 5 years along the mile stretch of highway. The DOT's median project is estimated to cost about $900,000. The current design shows the first median section starting by the McDonald's at the intersection of 58 South and Highway 70 and ending by the Hampton Inn on Highway 70 near 258. The plan calls for some turn lanes, but many business owners say if people can't make a left-hand turn into their parking lots, they might not come in at all.

"If they put these medians out there, it's just going to... this part of Highway 70 will die. It's just, we'll be dead. I just can't express that enough - it's just, we'll be dead," said Susie Jenkins with the Kinstonian Family Buffet.

The DOT is seeking public comments on the project. They're due March 10th. Once comments are received, Kinston leaders and Lenoir County Transportation Committee members will meet with DOT for a final project design.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by GREEDY! Location: New Bern on Feb 19, 2011 at 06:19 AM
    It is amazing to me the lengths that these greedy business owners will go to, to get their way! Do some research and see who is on the DOT board. You might be surprised at what you find. Do they ever ask anyone when they tear up your yard to widen roads. If this would help the traffic in that area, because it is terrible there, then by all means do it. don't let these 2 owners dictate what happens.
  • by unknown Location: kinston on Feb 18, 2011 at 06:46 AM
    i have lived in kinston all my life. instead of putting a median on hwy. 70 they need to take that money and fix the roads, instead of patching them. I believe that this (median) will do nothing but cause more problems, and hurt the businesses along that stretch of hwy. There are many elder peoeple that eat at the resturants along that road. why make it difficult for them to gain access to these places. in my opinion it is a waste of taxpayers money.
  • by leslie Location: kinston on Feb 16, 2011 at 06:29 PM
    I think the city and state should direct the traffic problem around the LCC area ,there are more accidents involving the college traffic.
  • by Darren Location: Kill Devil Hills on Feb 16, 2011 at 07:45 AM
    I'll tell you what Joe. Get up with your representative and tell them no no no and explain what kind of affect it has had on the City of Havelock. This would waste the taxpayer's money. The state does'nt have enough money for this petty stuff.
  • by Joe Location: Havelock on Feb 15, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    They did us like that in Havelock and guess what...Idiots will crash something no matter how you try to avoid it. Whenever "we're doing it for your safety" comes from a politician i.e. city manager and up, they are saying "I'm doing it for ME!" Can I get a witness!?
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