A bill intended to re-engineer some road projects that legislators don't like was pulled from the Senate floor today and rerouted "for a little further workup" in the Rules Committee -- which sometimes serves as a legislative graveyard -- at the request of the Rules chairman, Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville.
House Bill 561 would require NCDOT to tear out nearly one-half mile of a center median recently built on NC 191 in Asheville, and replace it with a center turn lane -- at a cost estimated by NCDOT at $797,500. [See today's story with reader comments.]
The bill also would require NCDOT to cancel plans to install medians, which restrict left turns, on parts of U.S. 70 in Kinston, U.S. 64 in Asheboro and Winstead Avenue in Rocky Mount.
DOT wants to make the changes to reduce rear-enders and other crashes associated with left turns on these roads, and to make traffic flow more smoothly. Some merchants have protested that their businesses would suffer if customers were prevented from making left turns in and out of their driveways.
Legislators disagree over whether these road design decisions should be left to NCDOT or reviewed by the General Assembly.