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Airborne on James Street!
Carrboro's Open Street Policy Has Other Benefits!

Who would have thought there would be so many side benefits to Carrboro's open street policy? The policy that sets out to open residential streets to be used as shortcuts between major roads to ease traffic on those same major roads has all involved elated! "It's rare that any of our policies are so unanimously well received!" a Carrboro official told The Carrboro News, "We're studying this policy to see what the formula was that made it work so well!".

And so well it did work! People in their cars can cut through the residential neighborhoods saving at least a minute off their driving time. Residents of the short cuts can sit on their porches and watch traffic drive by-an option they didn't have when there was no traffic. People in the neighborhoods that are short cuts are thankful that someone else sacrificed their quiet community for them.

Community members, affectionately call the policy "the business by-pass, by-pass policy" as most of the thoroughfares by-pass both the business route and the by-passes. A few entrepreneurial residents have inquired as to whether they may erect gas pumps and convenient stores which would further ease traffic conditions on the main roads. The Carrboro Town Board is considering the possibility of a very few number of variances to accommodate the residents. Most residents are excited about having a gas station in their neighborhood. "I would love to be able to walk to the gas station to get gas for my lawn mower.", Replied one happy resident when asked why he would not oppose a gas station in his neighborhood.

The process has been a long one with various adjustments along the way. The biggest one came shortly after the signs designating the streets as short cuts were put up, and even shorter after they put up the stop signs to slow the flow of traffic. The big change we're talking about is the speed humps(not speed bumps as most of us are used to).

Originally conceived as an idea to slow traffic and implemented for that same reason, the speed bumps did just that- until Evil Knieval became a household name. As his fame grew and word of his motorcycle feats of jumps over 50 cars and the Snake River spread through Carrboro, the purpose of the speed hump evolved into something quite different than originally planned.

Short on Technique

This unidentified car accidentally hits the brakes instead of the gas pedal. This is a common mistake of first time jumpers, but with a few more passes, confidence will be built and she'll be airborne before she knows it.

If you're sitting on the side of the road and see a car approach, there is a barely perceptible change in the driver's eyes as he sees the "Speed Hump. 15 Miles per hour". Pedestrians and bicyclists see "Speed Hump. Slow Down below 15 MPH". Drivers in cars see "Put the pedal to the metal and go airborne".

As one neighbor sits in his chair, he watches the cars accelerate, hit the hump at full speed, go airborne and land up to 50 feet down the road with a deafening thump in a blaze of sparks. If the car goes straight ahead, he know it's heading on it's way. If it takes it's first left, he knows it's coming around for a second jump!. He told The Carrboro News that he remembered the first thrill he had when he saw Evil jump 49 of 50 cars and go flying head over heels into the ramp, breaking every bone in his body. "From my front row, porch swing seat at this live venue l get that exact same feeling of exhileration!", he explained..

"I've heard some murmurs from neighbors that have the vague sound of disgruntlement, but I sit here with my fingers crossed hoping that the Town won't close down the shortcuts. I know we'll never be able to have a Tractor Pull or a Nascar race down James Street, so I'll fight tooth and nail to keep my James Street Jump Pads!"



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