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Wilmington plans for future of transportation

READ MORE: Wilmington plans for future of transportation
WILMINGTON -- Earlier this month we told you New Hanover County roads are rated the most dangerous in the state for drivers. It's a problem that could get worse as our area continues to grow. Taxi driver Joe Brown said, "I see people driving with road rage. It's impatient out here, its a mix of the northern folks and the southern folks. It's a bad combination." Our roads may not be as dangerous for walkers and bikers as you may think, though. For eight years running New Hanover County has been rated the state's most dangerous county to drive in. But according to the Wilmington Planning Organization, of the nearly 6,000 auto crashes in 2006, less than two percent involved pedestrians or bicyclists. Still, local leaders say there's work to be done. "What we need to do is start looking at this as sharing the road for everyone," Cape Fear Breeze Coordinator Lawless Bean said. Cape Fear Breeze is a grass roots organization that's teamed up with the city of Wilmington to promote alternative modes of transportation. Bean said, "We currently don't have sufficient sidewalks for people to walk. We don't have sufficient bike paths for people." Whether it's for exercise or simply to get around many say the safest place to walk is the loop at Wrightsville Beach. Rocky Point resident Joyce Greer said, "It's a nice place to walk and we can talk and not have to worry about traffic. It's the safety of it more than anything." Wilmington resident Missy Bohan said, "We just feel safer here. But other than that there's really no other area that you can feel safe to, to walk." There are initiatives in place to change that. In November the Department of Transportation and the city of Wilmington finished the long-awaited widening of Military Cutoff Road, including a 1.2-mile-long mixed use path for walkers and bikers. Last year Wilmington also started work on a cross-city trail, connecting parks and schools from Halyburton Park on South 17th Street to Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said, "We need more places where we can walk and run and bike. And this ties in to that initiative to provide that for our citizens, so we can keep that quality of life in our community." Bean says we also need to look at mass transit and carpooling, anything to get people to use footpower instead of horsepower. "It's a dominance of the car. And what we need to do is look at it as, that's just one piece of the solution, he said. As we head toward 2020 Bean says possible solutions include carpool and bus lanes as well as more road access for cyclists. Planners have also received a grant from the DOT to analyze crossings and gaps in sidewalks that need to be closed in order to effectively get people out of their cars and on to their feet. For more information on some of the other plans in the works to improve auto and foot traffic in our area visit: http://wmpo.org/wmbpc/

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wasted transit

While waiting at a stop light at 16th street, this morning, I saw two(2) WAVE handicap van's(one following the other) and each carried one(1) passenger. Is there something wrong here?

"Ghost" Buses

Empty buses, what I call "ghost" buses, have always caught my attention. First, such a waste of public transportation that could reduce traffic congestion, parking woes, gas consumption and pollution, and second, such a waste of tax dollars. I hear a bus needlessly lumbering down the avenue as I write this. And I say needlessly because it's empty...the "ghost" line. How can we change this? I suggested, as in other smaller communities, free service to get things moving, and more service areas--like the beaches. (This does not go over well with those already at the beach.) Anyway, let's work on it...along with a way for bike travel not to be death wish.

DRIVERS / ROADS

Our roads are going to get more and more dangerous as long as we permit illegal people coming in by the truck loads buying huge vehicles and drive on our roads without paying their share of taxes. We the American people are going down. The illegals are taking over and we are letting them. We are paying their taxes, supporting them with health care and soon we will be the poor ..not them. We need to send these people home..then there would be more money to fix roads, add roads as necessary instead of taxing the homeowners and American people to death!!!!!!!!!!! These people are dangerous on the road. They show no courtesy at all and speed everywhere they go.

YES I DO AGREE WITH YOU

I DO AGREE WITH YOU THE OTHER DAY I WAS BEHIND AN ILLEGAL AND IT SEEM AS IF SHE WAS CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT LIGHT SHE COULD TURN ON. SHE HAD NO CLUE . SHE SAT THERE UNTIL THE LIGHT TURNED RED THEN SHE BEGAN TO TURN ALMOST CAUSING AN ACCIDENT.I FEEL LIKE IF WE GET RID OF THESE ILLEGALS THEYRE WILL LESS ACCIDENTS, MORE TAX MONEY TO FIX ROADS,AND MORE HELP FOR THE HOMELESS THE ONES THAT ARE TRUE AMERICANS.

Mass Transit

I think the bus drivers should have some serious customer service training prior to expanding. Especially the downtown trolly drivers! They will look at you and see you waving for them to stop and just keep right on going. It's happened more than once or twice.