Small businesses against median project in Clemmons

CLEMMONS, N.C. -- Several “Stop the Median” signs and banners can be seen along the side of Lewisville-Clemmons Road.

A GoFundMe page with a goal of $1,000 asks for support of the cause for continued signage and awareness.

Connor Groce is the organizer and said that their ultimate goal is twofold; supporting the local economy and encouraging people to vote for council members who understand the concerns of small businesses owners.

"All we're trying to do is raise awareness to get people out to vote," Groce said.

Hip Chic’s Boutique & Gifts owner Kristina Prysiazniuck has a banner on the outside of her business walls in support. She said that she’s experienced a serious decline in sales when construction crews repaired a water main break and feels that a median could be a permanent financial detriment.

“I agree that this road is very busy, I agree that there needs to be something done but I don't believe the median is the answer," Prysiazniuck said. “I do believe it's going to affect local businesses and for me this is my livelihood, this supports my family; I have 28 employees, it affects them.”

Village Council agenda minutes show a 4-1 vote of a resolution to approve the possible median project on Sept. 26, 2016.

Groce said that he feels the median project has become politicized and that certain members are campaigning on a position against the median, opposite of how they originally voted.

Village Manager Scott Buffkin would not comment on whether the median project has been politicized but said "... I would certainly think that the council members would take into consideration their thoughts."

Buffkin said that Lewisville-Clemmons Road has been a topic of conversation “on a number of occasions” discussing safety improvements, limiting left turns and reducing accident-prone intersections.

NCDOT Division Engineer Pat Ivey presented a study of recommendations for the Lewisville-Clemmons Road area from a study back in 2009 at council’s retreat earlier this spring.

Ivey said that the median is merely a recommendation of a way to improve traffic flow in the town. The state has allocated millions of dollars for several projects in Forsyth County. The median could be one of them if council votes it as a need for the community.

“This is not something that we want to shove down the throats of the community, this is completely their decision of whether they want to accept our recommendations to move forward with the project or basically say, 'We're good the way it is.'” Ivey said.

A consultant began a second traffic study at the beginning of this year to see if median commendations still apply. The results from that study will be presented to council in the spring of 2018.

Buffkin said that he anticipates one if not several public meetings to follow before a final vote in September 2018.