The town of Hope Mills began looking at the area about a year ago as it finalized plans for the newly reopened Hope Mills Lake. In October, it presented plans to add sidewalks to Johnson Street, but when the Department of Transportation surveyed the road, it found that it was too narrow for it to be a two-lane street with sidewalks.
From there, the town opted to make it a one-way, forcing eastbound traffic down Johnson Street to Rockfish Road. Though many residents on Johnson Street said it's not that big of a deal, those who live in a neighboring subdivision say the detour cuts off their easy access to Rockfish Road.
"One of the things about that is you subject yourself to being in more intense traffic because you can't take a little work around so traffic is going to back up, and you're going to have more accidents as time goes by. So I am not liking it," said Gene Reed.
The town of Hope Mills is introducing a new one way traffic pattern for two streets. I’ll explain how town leaders say it will ease congestion plus what that has to do with the newly opened Hope Mills Lake. All new at 5:30 on #abc11 pic.twitter.com/Jqqb7YOZu2— Morgan Norwood (@MorganABC11) February 20, 2018
Mayor Jackie Warner told ABC11 that the town did an extensive traffic study. Turns out, many drivers were using Johnson Street to cut through to Main Street and Rockfish Road, often speeding through the residential area, resulting in dozens of wrecks.
Warner said the one-way would slow and streamline traffic in one general area all while allowing a safe space for pedestrians to walk.
Johnson Street is one of two roads in Hope Mills that will become one ways to make room for sidewalks. The project is part of a bigger campaign to make Hope Mills more walkable.
"The ultimate goal would be that it connects Heritage Park, our lake and all the way up to the ball field and the library. That way you can actually park your car," Warner said. "The whole idea behind our traffic congestion plan is to try and get more cars off of Main Street."