Need for speed reduction: residents and city discuss Greenville Loop Road


NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Some residents are banding together though Facebook, saying they want to make Greenville Loop Road safer.

Greenville Loop Road has been a source of debate since at least 2003, when some fought to lower the speed limit while others fought to raise it back.

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And now, it seems the debate is back in the spotlight.

Becky Owens and Bradley Wootten live on Oasis Drive. They started a Facebook group called “Save Greenville Loop Road” after a car accident on the way home almost took their lives.

“We were at a standstill,” said Owens.
“We were at a standstill waiting to turn.” Wootten continued, “And, before we could turn, a car came up from the back and hit us at full speed.”
“45,” Owens added.
Totaled our car. Sent us both to the hospital,” said Wootten. “He knocked us in the oncoming lane by the grace of God, there wasn’t anybody coming that way or we’d of been smacked head on.”

But they were lucky. Charles Pate had a family member killed in a crash on Christmas Day over a year ago. The accident occurred around 3 am, the car reaching high speeds on the long stretch of road.

Since then, Pate said he’s lobbied to put more lighting on the road and to slow traffic’s speed.

“We need to protect our community,” said Pate. “And those areas are severely hampering in safety and lighting. Maybe street lights or speed bumps, or something. I know that road is sped on by everybody, so it’s rough down there.”

We reached out to the City of Wilmington, who said they have several projects underway to address this.

Greenville Loop Trail is in its pre-construction phase, and should remove pedestrian traffic from the busy road.

The city also plans to build a traffic circle on Pine Grove Drive, according to spokesman Jerod Patterson, which should slow traffic and give people alternate routes.

“You are giving drivers an opportunity to use a different artery as opposed to Greenville Loop,” explained Patterson. “Because you’re giving them a fast alternative route, which currently they do not have.”

The city has also used its speed-minder program to collect data on drivers’ speeds and flow of traffic over the course of several months.

Patterson said they hope all three programs will help the city gather more information and address any current problems. They encourage citizens to reach out with any concerns.