A new traffic pattern will be used on part of Sixth Street in downtown North Wilkesboro for about two week starting this week to help town officials gauge the effectiveness of traffic calming measures on motorists, said Town Manager Wilson Hooper.

Hooper said the width of travels lanes on the portion of Sixth Street between F and G streets will be reduced from 13 to 10 feet using traffic barrels.

In addition, the North Wilkesboro Police Department’s “dynamic speed sign” will be posted on Eighth Street/Toll Road in coming weeks. It uses radar to measure and display speeds of oncoming vehicles and also records traffic volume and speed data.

Hooper said town officials will use data collected through these efforts on Sixth Street and Eighth Street/Toll Road to evaluate possible safety enhancements on town streets. The posted speed limit on both street sections is 25 mph.

“Data is important to have whenever you’re making a decision, especially when you’re trying to solve a problem like this one where important information — traffic volume and speed — is so easy to collect,” said Hooper.

He said determinations made as a result of the testing will help officials make informed and cost-effective decisions about public safety staffing and infrastructure improvements. “Motorists are asked to use caution as they proceed through both areas,” Hooper added.

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