Friday, May 6, 2016

It's time to slow down the "Davidson-Concord Speedway"

If you’ve ever traveled across Davidson’s east side, you are probably familiar with Davidson-Concord Road or what could more accurately be described as the “Davidson-Concord Road Speedway”.  The stretch of that road from Highway 73 all the way up to the roundabout at Rocky River has become more dangerous as the area has grown, but the speed limit remains an alarming 55mph for most of it.  In fact the speed limit does not drop to 45 until under 2 tenths of a mile before the first of multiple pedestrian crosswalks.

The result is a situation where drivers regularly fly through these crossings putting pedestrians at undo risk.  It’s a situation that has long concerned residents and one long blown off by NCDOT who controls the road.  However, a series of videos that recently surfaced make it a situation the town and the state can no longer ignore.

In three videos taken in recent weeks, several mom’s captured multiple incidents occurring while waiting for the school bus at one of these crosswalks.  In the first video, numerous cars refuse to stop to let a girl cross the road.  In the second, multiple cars drive by a stopped school bus with lights flashing and its stop sign out.  The third video captures the chaotic scene of a car accelerating through the crosswalk at over 50pmh just to beat the students who have disembarked the bus and are beginning to cross the road.  It's harrowing stuff.

Google “Video Davidson-Concord Road Speedway” if you want to see for yourself.

All of this was captured right near the site of a serious accident that occurred three years ago this month when Davidson teenager Mason Stewart was critically injured when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the road at the intersection of Robert-Walker and Davidson-Concord roads.

If something is not done to truly address the issue, it is just a matter of time before tragedy strikes again.

To that end, citizens are taking matters into their own hands and preparing to take their message to Davidson Town Hall.  Soon after the blog post containing those videos was posted, a Facebook invite was put out by Vallee Bubak of River Run encouraging people to attend Davidson’s May 10th Board meeting and speak out on the issue.

One of the commenters on that invite to town hall was Jennifer Stewart whose son was struck in that previous accident.  Stewart says as part of her comments that “despite all of our efforts with the Town of Davidson and the NCDOT, safety at the intersection hasn't improved.  I'm thankful for the flashing lights the town installed, but sadly they are ignored by most drivers.  I shudder to think how dangerous the intersection will become when the new development begins.”  That new development she mentions is the 306 unit West Branch neighborhood slated to be built right at the intersection where her son was injured.

In a follow up conversation for this story with Ms Stuart, she reiterated her appreciation for the things the town has done, but the fact remains that the speed limit is too fast and that makes the road too dangerous.  She pointed out that the next accident victim may not be nearly as lucky as her son.

The town needs to do more.  It can do more  The question is will it do more?  Now is the time to push the town to truly fight for a real solution to this safety hazard.

Davidson residents are encouraged to attend the May 10th Board meeting at 6pm and speak out on safety conditions on state maintained roads.  Those in the Bradford, Bailey Springs, and River Run neighborhoods are particularly encouraged to speak put on the issues along the “Davidson-Concord Road Speedway”

There were earlier indications the town planed to invite NCDOT to the meeting, but by deadline the town was not able to confirm if they would attend.  However, even if NCDOT does not show, citizens should plan to attend anyway.

Nothing says “this is important” to elected officials like a room full of concerned voters.

This post forst appeared in this week's Herald Weekly at

No comments:

Post a Comment