By Laura Crosio
The developer of Flowers Planation has asked Johnston County Commissioners to ensure a proposed NCDOT expansion complements the design of the community.
Ramey Kemp, a Raleigh-based transportation consultant, appeared before county leaders on Sept. 1 to speak on behalf of developer Rebecca Flowers. He noted in the next 20 years, the population of Flowers Plantation in Johnston County is expected to swell to 30,000 residents. They would like an upcoming road widening project along Highway 42 East from Glen Laurel to Buffalo Roads to complement the community, not divide it. The roadway is expected to widen to four lanes.
“It’s a welcomed improvement,” said Kemp. “They (DOT) recognized where the traffic demand is.
But an area that once was rural is increasingly taking on an urban appearance with multiple shopping centers, elementary schools and a fitness center near its epicenter. Kemp said it is Rebecca Flowers desire to keep that 2.4 mile section of the highway with a “Main Street” feel, complete with curbs, reduced speed limits and side street access for golf cart traffic.
“It’s critical to appearance of community that it does not look like there’s a freeway going through the town,” Kemp said. “You (county commissioners) have a lot of influence with the NCDOT. I think it’s important that it be done in a way that serves the needs of the local area.”
“I am very complimented that you think we have influence over the DOT,” said Commissioner DeVan Barbour.
Commissioners said they would take Flower’s concerns under advisement and forward them to the County Planning Board for review.