Plateau Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
December 2, 2004 

Members present: Scott Rhoney, Chairman, Tawanna Jarrett, Teresa Lail, Jon Gladden, Donna Cullum, Terry Bledsoe, Pinkney Hull, Travis Norman, James Crafton and Al King.

Members absent: Greg Fulbright

Staff present: John Marshall and Andrea Lytle from Western Piedmont Council of Governments; Mary George, Jacky Eubanks, Sue Ballbach and Connie Killian from Catawba County

Chairman Scott Rhoney, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm and welcomed all those in attendance.

Chairman Rhoney declared the minutes/summary of the November 18th meeting approved as submitted and written.

Ms. Andrea Lytle introduced Mr. John Marshall, Rural Planning Organization (RPO) Transportation Coordinator for the Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

Ms. Lytle informed the Committee that they had updated the original transportation map that was given to them with the NCDOT classifications. She reviewed this map with the group. She explained about the Thoroughfare Plan, which is current through 2025. She informed them about NCDOT's Moving Ahead Program where some of the funds will be use to add an additional turn lane on Hwy. 10 at Banoak Elementary School, scheduled to be completed in 2005. Ms. George stated that the County had used the recommendations of the SAPs concerning recommended road improvement and forwarded them to NCDOT for possible inclusion in the Moving Ahead Program. Ms. Lytle stated that they wanted this Committee to come up with a list of road problems or issues that needed to be addressed and these too would be submitted to NCDOT.

Mr. John Marshall stated that he had current details from the Moving Ahead Project from NCDOT. He stated that the NCDOT projects are divided into two parts with the first part including resurfacing and widening. The second phase is the actual paving of the roads. He showed a Power Point presentation of specific areas that the committee could consider in the development of its transportation recommendations.

A question was asked about turn lanes being added at the time these roads are being widening. Mr. Marshall replied that part of the Moving Ahead money would be used to add these lanes at the time of widening. He said that turn lanes and re-alignment at the intersection at Blackburn School Rd. would also be completed. He stated that there was a question concerning re-alignment of the NC 10/Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. intersection. The committee recommended a protected left-turn movement at this location, in addition to straightening of Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. They likewise recommended an improvement to the intersection of Rocky Ford Road and Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy and at the intersection of Lefevers and Banoak Road.

A site distance problem on Providence Church Rd. was brought up which could be addressed by grading down the bank so people can see when they come around the curve, especially if someone has stopped to make a left turn. Mr. Marshall stated that these problems would be turned over to the NCDOT before this Plan is approved, so that current funds could possibly be used to address the problems. The Committee supported the Moving Ahead project but noted that there are other areas to be addressed, including a left turn signal for traffic on Plateau Road turning onto Hwy. 10 at the Hwy. 127/10 intersection. Also turn lanes should be added at Cat Square Rd. It was noted that Old Shelby Road is only 18 ft. wide with drop offs on the sides; therefore, it is in need of widening and bridge improvements. Another point was brought up concerning the intersection of Hwy. 10/Old Shelby Road, and the accidents that occur at this particular intersection. Mr. Marshall stated that he would also add this to the list. It was also discussed about reducing the speed limit on Hwy. 10 from 55 mph to 45 mph from the Lincoln Co. line east to Randy Willis's Package Store. Signage for school bus stops was also suggested for hilly roads in the area. The last issue was a concern over the Rhoney Farm Rd./Old Shelby Road intersection being dangerous because it takes two lanes for a bus or truck to turn onto Old Shelby Rd.

Ms. Lytle asked the committee for specific traffic signals recommendations. The Committee's recommendations included:

  • A caution light on Hwy. 10 at Blackburn Road or redesign intersection
  • Caution light or turn lane to be added for Jacobs Fork Middle School
  • Dedicated left-turn signal for Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. at Hwy. 10
  • Caution light for Hwy. 10 at Old Shelby Road.

Concerning speed limits, the following suggestions were made by the Committee:

  • Reduce speed limit on Hwy. 10 from 55 to 45 from Lincoln Co. Line to Randy Willis's Package Store
  • Review speed limit on Old Shelby Road

The following suggestions were added to the improvements of roads for safety purposes:

  • Improve visibility at the steep embankment on Providence Church Road at NC Hwy. 10
  • Drainage issue at Scronce Rd. and Plateau Rd. needed to be addressed
  • Curve at Camp Creek bridge on Old Shelby Road
  • Curves on Plateau Road need to be straightened out
  • Cat Square Rd. needs to be wider and curves straightened out because trucks and traffic use this road from Lincoln County to the Hickory area

Roads proposed for scenic highway designations were discussed, with the Committee making the following recommendations:

  • Old Shelby Rd.
  • Greedy Highway
  • Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy.
  • NC Hwy. 10
  • Plateau Rd.

Concerning revisions to the Catawba County Thoroughfare Plan, the Committee decided to recommend the addition an extra 1-2 feet of asphalt to Old Shelby Rd. when repaving existing roads to allow for safer road sharing between bicycles and automobiles. They also drew out a proposed bicycle route that will be shown on a map for their next meeting. They also discussed making a scenic route around the pottery makers in this area. The potters typically operate by having customers come to their home so they can see the pottery made and purchase pieces.

Amending the County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance was discussed and the Committee agreed on the following:

  • Minimize driveways along thoroughfares by encouraging service roads for residential and non-residential development
  • Establish regulations that all new individual residential driveways connecting to arterial and collector streets must be at least 12 ft. wide for the first 20 ft. of length with a minimum 3-foot turn radii which will allow for easy ingress and egress. The specific roads listed will be based on the road designation in the Thoroughfare Plan.

The Committee members discussed pedestrian crosswalks and recommended the following:

  • Examine crosswalks from the Banoak School to the recreation area behind it

Concerning Bicycle routes, the Committee stated that they recommended:

  • Support of the previously submitted NCDOT bike routes which is shown on Map 7
  • Increase pavement width to the maximum extent feasible along the designated bicycle routes for increased safety

The Transit System and Passenger Rail were discussed and the Committee members recommended their suggestions from the last meeting:

  • Enhance Piedmont Wagon routes to provide increased service for the elderly
  • Request Catawba County to initiate a feasibility study for expanding the Piedmont Wagon route into the Plateau SAP community
  • Encourage Piedmont Wagon to schedule trips to coordinate with the Western North Carolina passenger rail service

Ms. Lytle stated that this Committee would review the transportation recommendations and begin discussing land use at its next meeting. She stated that information would be mailed to them before January 27, 2005, the next meeting date of this Committee.

Ms. Lytle announced that she had received a letter from Megan Ortiz who had missed the meetings to date because of having a baby. She stated she apologized for not being able to attend and would start meeting with them in January.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:17 pm.