Kinston to vote on replacing some traffic lights with stop signs

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A day spent driving around in Kinston may soon be filled with more brake lights as city officials want to replace some stop lights with stop signs.

Public Services assistant director Steve Miller, says the city wants to ease traffic. If the council passes the changes, the new traffic pattern will begin in July.

“Then when they do that, we’ll go into the field and install the stop signs,” Miller said. “We’ll leave the signal equipment in place but cover it. Then we’ll study the intersection for at least ninety days to make sure there are no other concerns that show up while it’s working under the stop sign.”

This plan will save Kinston roughly around $80,000 but most people are just worried about crossing the street safely.

“I don’t know why they’re doing that. I think it’s stupid because you got a lot of kids on bikes and stuff,” says local Kinston resident, Kimberly Taylor. Miller understands the concern but believes either type of intersection has a chance of danger.

Miller understands the concern but believes either type of intersection has a chance of danger.

“There’s always a potential for accidents,” Miller said. “In some ways, I think traffic signals can make the public a little more complacent when they approach the intersection. If they have a green light they think they have the right away. And they may not even look to see if anyone is approaching the other way who might run through the light.”

Motorists will see the stop sign experiment at just a couple of intersections for now.

“We did traffic counts, in the field at every intersection to determine how many cars approached each side of the intersection,” said Miller. “That was one of the main focuses. Our traffic engineer also went out and did a visual observation.”

The city council will make its final decision in July.

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