Tryon hears complaints about crosswalk signs, plans to seek changes

Published 1:52 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tryon officials said although the new crosswalks and signs have dramatically slowed traffic through downtown, many have complained about their appearance and that they take up parking spaces.

One sign was knocked down by a vehicle last weekend, Hembree reported.

The crosswalks and signs were installed several weeks ago by the DOT. Hembree said the crosswalk project began with concerns regarding downtown safety and it was the town&squo;s understanding that DOT was going to paint new crosswalks. The town was unaware that the signs would be installed. DOT told town officials that the signs were required because Hwy. 176, which runs through downtown, is a U.S. highway.

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DOT painted new sidewalks and installed five free-standing signs and one sign on a light pole. Two of the freestanding signs are on the street side of parking spaces.

Town officials said DOT might agree to install smaller signs that are out of the way more than the current ones.

Hembree said he&squo;s heard from residents both for and against the signs. He and other council members said many residents have commented on how much traffic has slowed since the installation.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said he&squo;d like to see Tryon get&bsp; signs similar to those in Hendersonville, which are about 4 feet high and can be moved.

Council members agreed the intent of the upgrades has been accomplished as far as pedestrian safety is concerned, but agreed, if possible, to improve the aesthetics of the signs.

&dquo;The intent has been fulfilled,&dquo; said councilman Roy Miller. &dquo;People used to drive 40 m.p.h. through town and people have slowed down.&dquo;

Hembree also said he&squo;d check with DOT regarding an earlier request that a crosswalk be installed near the Tryon movie theatre downtown.