Kinston residents split on keeping U.S. 258 stoplight near Will Baker Road

stoplight

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Community members in Kinston are split when it comes to keeping a temporary traffic signal on U.S. 258 South near Will Baker Road.

The light was put up in September 2015 when construction started on the Queen Street Bridge.

“It’s a scary intersection, and if you are coming from the side roads you can get out easier,” said Gwen Thompson, who lives in the area and works at Ma’s Hot Dog Shop.

The temporary signal was expected to be taken down when the bridge re-opened last week, and DOT officials now said they are waiting for all four lanes to open and the Queen Street construction to finish before conducting a traffic study.

Ma’s Hot Dog Shop owner David Hardison does not believe there is any further need for the light.

“There isn’t that much traffic coming off the side roads as there was,” said Hardison. “I see no need in keeping it permanent.”

Community members Jimmy Jones said the light has more positives than negatives..

“It’s been a lot safer,” said Jones. “The overall picture of the cut down on the traffic congestion is the main thing in the mornings and in the afternoon.”

Thompson led a petition last year that gained support from hundreds of people in favor keeping the light.

She said she hopes the DOT listens to the majority of community members

“I just like the light,” said Thompson.

The light will stay in place until the study is completed, and those results could be available by spring.

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