FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2020
SUBJECT: TOWN CLOSES NASSAU STREET TO THROUGH TRAFFIC
(Youngsville, North Carolina) — Town officials announced today they are proceeding with a plan to place semi-permanent barriers at the intersection of South Nassau Street and NC Highway 96 to close South Nassau to through traffic. As of the date of this release, the town plans to enforce its closure of South Nassau no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, February 28, 2020.
The plan was formulated as a response to safety concerns by many town residents. Those concerns center on the large number of non-resident motorists using South Nassau as a detour route during hours when traffic is congested on Main Street – which is also part of NC-96. Specifically, many of these motorists travel at excessive speeds while detouring via South Nassau and pose a significant safety risk to residents.
In response to concerns the closing of South Nassau may worsen traffic congestion in Youngsville Town Administrator Phil Cordeiro commented, “I understand many motorists use South Nassau to avoid congestion at the signal on Cross and Main Streets, and that closure of South Nassau to through traffic may increase travel times for some. However, when elected officials and residents raise concerns of safety – and direct action by town staff – it’s our responsibility to provide stakeholders with all options and allow them to make decisions about how to best manage our community’s streets while ensuring its safety.” Cordeiro went on to add, “I would like to stress, however, that we will continue to monitor traffic in the area and are open to modifying our plan at any time. As the barriers we’ll use are only semi-permanent, we can always remove them in the future if the board decides it’s in the community’s best interests.”
After collecting several months of traffic data, engaging South Nassau residents via a citizen survey, and requesting public comment, Chief Whitley of the Youngsville Police Department presented his findings and recommendations to the town board of commissioners during its January 9, 2020 meeting. After Chief Whitley’s presentation and several minutes of discussion the town board voted unanimously – directing staff to close South Nassau to through traffic.
In response to the decision Chief Whitley remarked, “Police agencies are often faced with balancing quality of life issues against matters of public convenience, and there were significant considerations of both regarding this decision. Our agency will continue to work toward the best long-term solution that will benefit both our citizens and those traveling through town alike. I welcome all comments and recommendations as we continue to improve the safety of our community and develop strategies for the expeditious flow of traffic through town."
After the closure takes effect, the Youngsville Police Department will increase patrols and observation in the affected area to ensure compliance and provide additional feedback to decision-makers.
When asked to comment on the closure Mayor Fonzie Flowers shared, “We’re simply doing what we feel is best for community safety. One of the great things about living in Youngsville is that our community isn’t afraid to take action when we’re faced with an issue. At the same time, we’re also willing to continuously accept feedback from residents and alter our course if facts and circumstances indicate we need to. I encourage all town residents to provide feedback to town staff and the board of commissioners as this plan unfolds.”
A graphic depiction of the closure’s location is provided below for reference. Feedback may be submitted to town officials by calling town hall at 919-925-3401 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.