by Josh Lanier
Speeders beware. Residents along Sherwood Drive are hoping to curb the fast drivers zipping through their neighborhood, which is used extensively as a cut through from N.C. 115 to Gilead Road and as a drop off and pick-up area for Huntersville Elementary School.
A number of people addressed the board about the problems along the street, including speeders, heavy traffic and dangerous conditions. Transportation officials studied the road and found several people were traveling well above the posted 25 mph speed limit.
They suggested placing three more speed humps along the mile-long stretch at a cost of about $5,000 in the hopes of slowing down speeders.
Terry Williams, who lives on Sherwood Road, told the board about how dangerous it is to get out of his driveway and how at least one resident was nearly hit trying to stop traffic to help his mom back out of hers.
The road already has two asphalt speed humps and a stop sign, but many drivers roll through the sign without stopping.
Board members cautioned residents that speed humps won’t necessarily bring traffic to a crawl as many motorists will slow down to go over the speed deterrent and then race to the next one.
The humps won’t address issues of traffic volume, as the road is now the pick up and drop off location for Huntersville Elementary.
“We’re a walking neighborhood with a lot of children,” said Colleen Smiley, who lives on Sherwood Drive. “This is dangerous.”
In other town board news
• Community members spoke in favor of extending the amount of time a mobile food cart could operate from two to four days a week at any one location. Former Huntersville Commissioner Charles Guignard proposed the extension and asked that the vendors be allowed to operate on town center zoned areas.
The speakers felt the system was unfair because it doesn’t allow the food vendors to properly market themselves.
The ordinance only allows a food vendor to operate for two days at approved locations. Guignard asked to have that extended to four days and allow them to open up shop at all town center zoned areas, which runs from Sherwood Drive and Bigham Street and south to Warren Street.
That would extend the number of a days a year the carts could be open from 115 to 208, far more than any other local municipality. Davidson is the highest with 116 days.
Guignard feels the extension, if passed, will help build continuity for the businesses and breed a community space similar to a Starbucks.
• The town board approved the metrics previously discussed on how it will dole out bonuses to Health & Sports Works, Inc., the firm that manages the Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics center. The board decided on the parameters at its annual retreat last month.
The new guidelines came after debates late last year at the dais over a $42,917 bonus that was given to the company. Many board members felt the old system hamstrung them in deciding how much money to appropriate to the firm.
• Mayor Jill Swain bestowed Dr. David Cooke, founder and medical director of the Lake Norman Free Clinic, with the Mayor’s Achievement Award for his work in the community. Cook founded the free clinic in 1999 as he saw an increase in the number of people needing care in the area that didn’t have health insurance.