If you live in the Wilmington area, you have probably driven to Raleigh at one time or another. Considering it's the state capitol, you'd think more DOT signs around New Hanover County would have Raleigh on them instead of Benson. This has always bugged our John Rendleman, so who better to tell us more. Benson is located in Johnston County. It is about 90 minutes north of Wilmington and it is fairly close to the Interstate 40 - Interstate 95 intersection. The state Department of Transportation labels Benson a destination city, but Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill seem to be more worthy of a destination tag. Joe Chance, a traffic engineer for the NC DOT said, "That's always the way it's been designated. We just follow the MUTCD guideline - the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices." "Benson and Raleigh go together. Benson is the first big city you come to," said Chance. Benson, a big city? The population of Benson is just under 4,000! Chance added, "You're talking about a situation that's never been brought up. Nobody has ever questioned it that I know of." Maybe someone does need to question it. Clear, concise signage should be expected when you're driving 65 mph. Perhaps there are more mule fans than we realize. Residents of Benson celebrate Mule Days every September. It is a festival that attracts over 60,000 people a year. Maybe that is the real reason for all the Benson signs.
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