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Council Members Get To See Residents’ Traffic Problem Up Close

July 10, 1991

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ Why did city council members cross the street? To get to cream and sugar for their coffee on the other side.

Fed up with rush-hour traffic on their street, which links two busy thoroughfares, the Carolina Avenue Neighborhood Association invited City Council members to breakfast Tuesday.

But the coffee and bagels were served on one side of the street, and the cream, sugar and cream cheese were on the other side - during rush hour. Council members had to cautiously dart back and forth across the narrow, tree- lined street.

″I see the problem passing by me,″ Mayor Pro Tem Sylvia Kerckhoff said. ″It’s a problem we need to deal with.″

″It’s all commuting traffic,″ association spokesman Farley Ranson said amid the noise of passing vehicles.

Residents contend the speeding commuters pose a threat to pedestrians, especially the elderly and schoolchildren. They want stop signs and a cul-de- sac to halt the traffic rush.

A city study found traffic on the street was five times that of similar streets nearby, with 300 cars an hour rushing by.

″I think they have a legitimate complaint,″ said Owen Synan, city transportation director. ″For a street that was carrying maybe 1,000 cars a day, and now carries 2,200 cars a day ... that’s a heavy increase.″

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