Washington residents criticize 15th Street widening plan

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – As eastern North Carolina continues to grow, 15th Street in Washington is becoming a problem area for some Beaufort County residents.

“The idea of living next door to a highway that would be noisier (and) drive traffic through the neighborhood was very concerning,” said Mary Day Mordecai, who lives off Market Street.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation wants to widen the road, add barriers and raise the medians.

However, homeowners and business owners 9OYS talked to said they are against the idea.

“It will be busier, noisier and less walkable,” Mary Day Mordecai said.

Mary Day and Ned Mordecai are hoping to retire in their 100-year-old home on Market Street. Both said they don’t like the DOT’s future plans.

“There are other alternatives that could address the problems that DOT is concerned about, which we are as well: congestion and traffic accidents,” Mary Day Mordecai said.

Cheryl Woodrind works at Linda’s Flowers and Gifts and said the update would cause more congestion and more accidents.

“If we leave this parking lot, we can only go toward the mall or out Market Street extension,” said Woodrind. “We would not be able to get out downtown or go back toward the hospital without having to go out somewhere else, turn around and come back.”

A petition is even circling around town for people to sign and get their voices heard.

Mary Day and Ned said the city, DOT and community members all need to come together and find a solution.

“Let’s talk about this,” said Ned Mordecai. “Let’s slow down. Let’s not jump right into something.”

9OYS tried to talk to community members in favor of the plan but did not find any.

The meeting to discuss the plan will be at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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