Summer Cut thru Traffic Impacts

  • Hickory Trl and the median along E. Dogwood will remain open Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18.
  • The no left turn prohibition at the corner of S Dogwood and US 158 will remain in place on weekends through August 14th and 15th.
  • Local traffic only barricades remain in place in 8 locations: East Dogwood for traffic going north on Hickory Trail, Hillcrest Drive, Sea Oats Trail and Wax Myrtle Trail, on Hickory for traffic going north on Hillcrest, Sea Oats and Wax Myrtle, and on Hillcrest for traffic going north on Sea Oats.
  • The Town will continue to work with travel apps to mark key roads as closed for routing purposes.

Thank you all for your patience while we continue to explore options to mitigate traffic while also trying to limit the impacts on year-round residents and on those that need to come through Southern Shores for work purposes.

We are getting mixed feedback from the closure of the median along E. Dogwood Trl.  Clearly any steps we take to re-route the cut-through traffic results in varying impacts to different parts of town.  The Town Council has been cautious and deliberate in trying to minimize these impacts.  We are implementing these measures exactly as they have been discussed in council meetings and based on the results, we will continue them or move onto other options.  Two additional weekends were added to the original planned eight weekends of no left turns at S. Dogwood Trl and US 158.  Barriers have been gradually added indicating local traffic only signage while also being added along with other road closures to travel apps.

Our traffic count data shows there were 93 more vehicles that passed through Town headed north this past Saturday, July 10 than there were on Saturday, June 26.  This minor increase between these two weekends allows us to compare similar weekends to one another. Comparing the data to measure the impact of the median closure shows a mixed response similar to the mix of comments.

Listed below are the impacts resulting in an increase or decrease of vehicles after closing the median along E. Dogwood Trl.

55 Hickory Trl                   2,036 or 149% more vehicles

274 Wax Myrtle Trl            584 or 143% more vehicles

286 Sea Oats Trl               285 or 35% fewer vehicles

274 Hillcrest Dr                 430 or 30% fewer vehicles

332 Sea Oats Trl               339 or 14% fewer vehicles.

We recognize moving traffic from one area means it either creates increased impacts or new impacts in other areas of Town.  This might be acceptable if we find the right balance.  The negative impacts taken from the traffic data indicate that those on Wax Myrtle Trl and Hickory Trl received a negative impact disproportionate to the benefits of those on Sea Oats Trl and Hillcrest Dr.  While it may be worth exploring this option further and implementing it in some manner in the future, there is currently no plan to continue the median closures along E. Dogwood Trl or closing off Hickory Trl at either E. Dogwood Trl or Hickory Dr at this time.  All other efforts previously described will remain in place.

There have been increasing concerns expressed about traffic diverting to Juniper Trl and through Chicahauk and to neighborhoods east of NC 12.  We recognize the need to monitor those impacts.  Trinitie Trl saw 248 or 25% more vehicles comparing the same two weekends as described above.  This past week we collected data at the 100 block of Ocean Blvd with 1,939 vehicles counted Saturday and 992 counted Sunday.

Our goal in implementing any change to the traffic patterns is to keep vehicles that are vacationing north of us on NC 12. There are on average over 11,000 vehicles that are driving through our Town every Saturday and Sunday.  We welcome all our visitors to the Outer Banks, but also want to limit the negative impacts on our residential streets.