ROSEBORO — Officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation are making their way around Sampson County and stopped in at the Roseboro town meeting Tuesday night to get approval of a comprehensive transportation plan for the area.
Roseboro commissioners approved the plan for Roseboro during their monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Several months ago, transportation officials visited all municipalities in Sampson County and presented the local boards with the plan for 2040. According to Suzette Morales, project engineer with the DOT, the plan considers the traffic patterns now, and what they are projected to be in the distant future.
“If you feel there is a need,” Morales said, “you should address it now. It doesn’t mean it will happen, but we need to know.”
According to Morales, the department worked to determine the needs of all the towns in Sampson County and from the needs list, a comprehensive transportation plan has been determined, which is what she presented to the board Tuesday night.
The plan, Morales told commissioners, is more like a wish list of things the town would like to see 25-30 years from now. When the plan was originally presented to commissioners in April, mayor pro tem Alice Butler recommended adding sidewalks along N.C. 24 to the pedestrian portion of the plan so children or residents could walk downtown.
While commissioners agree, the plan appears to be beneficial for the town of Roseboro, Butler expressed her concerns about who would continue to see the plans come to fruition.
“Who pursues this,” Butler questioned. “How does the process work? Who will make sure all this happens?”
At this time, the CTP is in the first stage of development — planning. After assessing the current traffic patterns and assessing the future needs, the DOT is presenting their findings to the towns and seeking input on the future plans.
“We look at the deficiencies we have now and determine a plan for the future,” Morales said.
With the Mountains to Sea Trail coming through Roseboro, Butler said she felt the DOT should cooperatively work with the MST committee on developing a plan that better suits the bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Following suggestions of the board, the bicycle plan had been changed to include a bicycle route south on N.C. 242.
“We want Roseboro to become a more pedestrian friendly town,” Butler stated in April. “There should be sidewalks on both sides of 24 and not just on the one side as presented in the plan.”
As for funding, Morales said the department will help the town find any grants that will help with the changes in the future.
“Our goal is for you to have a plan and figure out what is the best way to get the projects done,” Morales said.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.