Heavy north to south traffic on N.C. 5 has been obvious to southern Moore County residents and others for a long time. A fair amount of that traffic every day is executing the driver’s “Traffic Circle Avoidance” strategy by turning left onto Morganton Road.
That left turn onto Morganton Road has increasingly become a time-waster for two simple reasons: The marked left-turn lane holds only five vehicles, and the left-turn green arrow stays green only long enough to give priority to those five vehicles before turning blinking yellow and giving priority to northbound N.C. 5 traffic.
There are times of day and traffic conditions when that northbound traffic is so long that only one last desperate left-turner makes it around the corner at the end of the signal cycle. That will only get worse as Aberdeen’s Blake Village development builds out.
There is a low-cost short-term solution, but it will require funding by NCDOT and a contribution of land by Pinehurst Resort. Foremost, the left-turn lane must be made considerably longer, and that turn lane must incorporate the usual vehicle weight sensor along its full length. The existing traffic signal can then be programmed to retain the green arrow priority for the longer length of vehicles sensed.
Adding length to a turn lane means adding 12 feet of width to a roadway. Can that be done? Of course, but only with cooperation from Pinehurst Resort.
I believe that since Pinehurst Resort conceived — and Gil Hanse built — The Cradle on one side of N.C. 5 at that point, together they have the genius to figure out a way for NCDOT to get those 12 feet of asphalt without detectable loss of playing value to the current second hole of courses Nos. 3 and 5 on the other side.
Bob Bramwell, Pinehurst