LANSING-Most small, rural communities are known to be speed traps to motorists buzzing through town, but that’s not necessarily the case with the town of Lansing.
Surveillance cameras, speed bumps and even a little of arm wrangling from lawmakers in Raleigh were discussed as possible speed deterrents during the Lansing Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night.
Board member Mauvine Shepherd kicked off the in-depth discussion by aldermen on what could be done to slow the roll of flat footers that treat that stretch of N.C. 194 like a busy expressway.
“It’s unreal the speed that some people do coming through Lansing,” Shepherd exclaimed.
What was suppose to be a quick in-and-out meeting – as evident by the surprisingly light agenda – soon turned into a lengthy debate on how to best curb speeding as aldermen took turns spit balling ideas back and forth faster than the speeding cars they disdain fly through town.
Shepherd began the discussing by relaying a message from a concerned citizen who lives in the nearby community of Horse Creek. That person had inquired about the absence of a 20 mile-per-hour sign on that side of town. Similar postings are already in place on the town’s outer perimeter closest to Helton and Warrensville.
“Wouldn’t it make sense to put something like that up,” Shepherd asked the rest of the board.
Shepherd’s comments soon culminated in a fact sharing session from Mayor Dylan Lightfoot.
In 2011, the N.C. Department of Transportation conducted a traffic study to determine the average speed of cars through town. Shortly after that initial study, the town’s only stop light was removed from town and replaced with a stop sign.
Then, in 2014, the DOT returned to measure any noticeable change in the rate of passing cars. What they found was that 90 percent of people that come through the downtown are typically speeding.
“They leave that last stop sign in town like it’s the Kentucky Derby,” said Lightfoot.
Beyond implementing a new traffic pattern, the DOT has told the town there is little they can do to eliminate the town’s speeding problem. State officials have previously recommended that they appeal to reason with local law enforcement.
Town aldermen then hit another speed bump in hot pursuit of the speeders, as the Ashe County sheriff’s Office said it is the North Carolina Highway Patrol’s job to patrol Lansing.
“We’ve got to do something,” said Shepherd to her fellow board members.
“What if we invited the highway patrol to send a representative to talk to us,” asked Lightfoot.
“That would be a start,” replied Shepherd.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.