Travel Safety Initiatives
We want everyone to travel safely in Chapel Hill. The Police Department and area partners will continue speed enforcement and Watch for Me N.C. initiatives throughout the month of February. These initiatives are an effort to continue to preserve and enhance a safe community in which to travel, whether on two wheels, four wheels, two feet, or other methods.
Watch For Me N.C. is a statewide safety initiative designed to improve relationships on roads between people who drive, people who walk, people who roll and people who bike. People may receive helpful information, warnings, and in some cases, tickets for violations during these initiatives.
The Chapel Hill Police Department is taking additional steps to encourage safety among all travelers of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and throughout the community. You may notice an enhanced police presence along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The Watch For Me N.C. travel-safety initiative scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 27, is being moved from South Columbia Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. You will also notice temporary digital signs along the road to encourage safe-travel behaviors.
Post-flooding Update: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Bolin Creek Tuesday morning, April 25.
The Town of Chapel Hill saw more than 5.25 inches of rain fall in two and a half days beginning Sunday afternoon. The heaviest concentration (more than 2.75 inches) fell between the Monday evening and Tuesday morning rush hours causing hazardous travel conditions, especially Tuesday morning.
“We’re thankful that no one was seriously injured while Chapel Hill was inundated with rain Monday and Tuesday,” said Fire Chief Matt Sullivan. “It’s important for our residents to stay connected with us so we can get crucial safety messages to them in times like this. When hazardous conditions are present, patience and knowledge are key to staying safe.”
“We’d also like to thank all the Town and Orange County officials who braved the harsh elements to keep our community safe,” Chief Sullivan added.
Multiple images were taken around town the morning of April 25. View them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/chapelhillgov.
A number of Town streets were closed due to flooding, including Old Mason Farm Road, Rogerson Drive, the 200 block of South Estes Drive and Cleland Drive. All streets have been reopened at this time.
Chapel Hill Transit CL, D, DX, F and HU routes began Tuesday morning on detoured schedules due to fallen trees and flooded roads. The HU route remained detoured on Tuesday evening from Finley Golf Course Road. The other routes were returned to normal schedules by 9:15 a.m.
Two large trees fell on Tuesday because of the saturated ground. The first happened before 6:45 a.m. in the 900 block of East Franklin Street (between Estes Drive and Boundary Street) which forced Franklin Street down to one lane. Chapel Hill Police assisted motor vehicles until the road was reopened a little after 9 a.m. The second tree was on a neighborhood road, Wesley Drive, near Umstead Drive. The tree completely blocked the road, which—thankfully—has a second outlet. Two trees fell overnight, one at around 1 a.m. on Barclay Road near Bradley Road, the other on Finley Golf Course Road.
In all, 15 motor-vehicle accidents were reported since 7:46 a.m. Tuesday; only one reported weather as a contributing factor. However, one water rescue was attempted Tuesday morning, only to find out that the driver had already successfully vacated the vehicle. Chapel Hill Police responded to two other vehicles that were stuck after driving on flooded streets.
An accident in the northbound lane of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (toward downtown) between Umstead Drive and Longview Street caused major delays during the morning commute. A subsequent accident occurred on the northbound side of the road. Both accidents were cleared around 8:45 a.m.
There were no reports to Town officials of flooded structures or residences. No serious injuries were reported.
To sign up for emailed news notices from the Town of Chapel Hill, send an email to email@example.com or visit townofchapelhill.org/signup. For more safety information, visit readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app on your iPhone or Android smartphone. On Twitter follow @ChapelHillGov, @ChapelHillEM, @ChapelHillFD, @ChapelHillPD, and @OCNCEmergency.
Are you signed up to receive OC Alerts? They’re customizable to receive the important safety messages you want on the devices you want (email, text message, phone call). Visit member.everbridge.net/index/453003085611768#/login to sign up now.
Responding to Flooding in Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill has flood-prone areas. They exist due to topography, building in areas that are flood prone, and decades without stormwater regulation. The Town of Chapel Hill addresses flooding today by planning the best uses for public funds including the construction of new infrastructure. We can expect some improvements from our efforts. Unfortunately, there will still be flooding. We work to educate the public to the hazards, and prepare for emergencies. To view a map of Chapel Hill with the floodplains highlighted, view Chapel Hill Floodplain Map.