Local Money

Local Money: West Jefferson’s unexpected traffic plan

Lizzie O'Leary Dec 10, 2015
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Local Money

Local Money: West Jefferson’s unexpected traffic plan

Lizzie O'Leary Dec 10, 2015
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Being a pedestrian in North Carolina is pretty dangerous. Federal data shows that there are two pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, the sixth worst rate in the country.

And in one city, West Jefferson, the federal government stepped in with money and engineers to help. Dan Vock from Governing Magazine came on the show to explain their counter-intuitive solution:

“What happened was there was one man in particular, an engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation [Dean Ledbetter], who was basically tired of always having to fix the stop light. They’re very expensive in a rural area, it takes a long time to get out there with crews. What he said was, basically, ‘If you put in a stop sign, as opposed to a stop light, we’ll give you some extra money to make the rest of the downtown look nice too. Which would calm traffic, make it easier, make it easier for pedestrians to walk around, and shop.”

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