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.
Winter Storm Inga Update: 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17
Cleanup efforts are underway and will continue since Winter Storm Inga has dumped more than six inches of snow on Chapel Hill Wednesday. Extremely low temperatures overnight will add to the hazards, further freezing what has fallen.
"We appreciate your patience as crews are working around the clock to clean up the mess left by our second winter storm of the season," said Barry McLamb, the Town's emergency management coordinator. "Travel conditions will remain hazardous whether you're doing so by motor-vehicle, bicycle, walking or rolling. We ask that you stay in a safe location as long as you can. If you need to travel, please do so with extreme caution."
If you can do so safely, check on your neighbor to make sure they have adequate supplies to weather the storm.
Stay up to date with important information and links to resources at townofchapelhill.org/emergency. And, sign up to receive timely alerts from OC Alerts at member.everbridge.net/index/453003085611768#/signup.
Public works officials continue to focus their efforts on Town-maintained primary streets, bridges and overpasses, and trouble spots (like hills). For a portion of the evening Wednesday, Town crews are diverting their nine Town snowplow trucks and two contracted snowplow trucks to the 21 state-maintained roads for at least one pass in each direction. The Town is also utilizing seven box spreaders on snowplow trucks, and four motor graders.
Parks and Recreation crews assist in clearing downtown sidewalks and Town facilities during inclement weather. They will continue to address sidewalks in the downtown area that have snow thrown on them from snow plows. We appreciate your patience through this process.
The NC Department of Transportation is focusing on the five major roads through Chapel Hill (Franklin Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Columbia Street, Fordham Boulevard, Manning Drive, and South Road/NC Highway 54).
Safe Driving Tips
If you have to drive when conditions are unfavorable, please use the following precautions:
- State Law: if your wipers are on, your headlights must be on
- Headlights are just as important to help other vehicle drivers see you as they are to help you see what’s in front of you
- Clean snow and ice from your car before driving, including headlights and taillights; flying debris can be hazardous to you and those around you
- Give extra following distance to allow more stopping time on slippery surfaces (even if you think they aren’t slippery); stopping on snow/ice can require four to 10 times the distance compared to dry pavement
We're experiencing a high volume of abandoned vehicles, which get in the way of plows.
Wednesday's Chapel Hill Cultural Arts Commission meeting is canceled.
Wednesday's Chapel Hill Town Council regular business meeting is canceled.
The Meet the Author Tea scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 18, at Chapel Hill Public Library has been canceled and may be rescheduled to a later date.
Chapel Hill Transit will not operate no earlier than 12 noon Thursday.
Chapel Hill Transit will continue to monitor weather conditions throughout the evening and tomorrow and will provide an update by 10 a.m. Thursday.
For more information, visit chtransit.org.
Residential and Commercial Solid Waste Collections
Residential and commercial solid waste collections will resume Friday, conditions permitting. The Waste Industries transfer station in Durham was closed Wednesday.
All yard waste collection this week has been canceled and will not be made up.
Crews responsible for solid waste and leaf collection turn their attention to inclement weather cleanup when it hits. Therefore, leaf collection will resume Friday, conditions permitting.
Some Town Facilities
Town facilities will be closed on Thursday. This includes Parks and Recreation facilities (including the Aquatics Center on Homestead Road), the Chapel Hill Public Library and other public-facing facilities. Many of the Town’s employees will be working to provide public safety and to clear our streets and sidewalks. The Adverse Weather Policy for employees remains in place.
Public Housing staff will remain in close contact with residents to ensure they have adequate resources.
White Flag Shelters
Local shelters are opening their doors overnight to the home insecure population as “white flag shelters” due to the extreme temperatures. Police officers also check on the Town’s housing insecure residents to ensure they have adequate resources during inclement weather.
The Interfaith Council (IFC | ifcweb.org) offers shelter for men at the Community House (phone number 919-967-1086) and for women and families at the HomeStart women and family shelter (phone number 919-932-6025).
Call-in Number for Residents
Please call 919-969-5005 for non-emergency questions related to Storm Inga clean-up response in Chapel Hill. Town staff members will answer your questions and concerns between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday.