WEST JEFFERSON — The West Jefferson Board of Aldermen held its monthly meeting on Monday, and were presented with a request by Jane Lonon of the Ashe County Arts Council to take down the three-way stoplight near the arts council building.
Lonon spoke briefly to the board for future consideration to remove the old flashing stop light at the intersection of E. Main St., School Ave. and N. 6th Ave.
“That blinking light has been there for as long as I can remember, and for as long as I can remember, I can watch cars roll through that intersection without regard for stopping, looking and making a safe turn,” Lonon said. “It’s dangerous and with more pedestrians walking in that intersection, it makes it equally dangerous.”
Lonon asked that this intersection be treated similar to those on Jefferson Ave. with new three-way stop signs instead of the blinking light and a bump out also similar to those on Jefferson Ave. for pedestrians to walk across the street.
“That would provide a safe haven for visitors, for folks that are walking from the parking lot, walking from the art center on down to the cheese plant, and just getting that flow of traffic moving in a better and more safe manner,” added Lonon.
Currently, there are no proposed designs or cost estimates for the project, so it is not something that will be looked at until the next budget year, but it is something the alderman acknowledged would be a nice enhancement to that end of town, board members said.
“Without knowing the cost or a timetable, I think especially with our budget coming up next year, we would have to work that in then and see if it’s feasible to do it,” said alderman John Reeves.
Alderman Stephen Shoemaker echoed the importance of that potential project, especially with the increased foot traffic around the town.
“You don’t have any designated walking places and it’s always been precarious down there. I think we will look at that pretty seriously, it’s one area of town I think all of us on the board thinks needs to be done, we’ll have to see what we can do to get it completed, but it needs to be done, it definitely needs to be done,” said Shoemaker.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.