Monday, December 29, 2008

Leaves Calm Traffic in Winston Salem

In Winston Salem, piles of rotting leaves languish on busy thoroughfares, narrowing two-way roads to one-way and forcing cars to slow.

The City has abandoned its customary pickup of leaves, brush, and limbs. Huge piles of organic material block roadways for months at a time.

The controversial strategy is part of an innovative program designed to calm traffic all over town, even in rich old white folks' neighborhoods. One resident, not a rich white folk, is angry.

"I couldn't take it anymore," he fumed. "The piles were blocking my mailbox and eating up my parking. What with the holidays, it was bad timing. I borrowed a friend's pick-up Saturday and hauled away as much as I could. I drove it out Bethania-Rural Hall Road and dumped it."

A similar program launched by the City last Fall attracted national interest. It successfully created cost-effective speedbumps, roundabouts and neckdowns, and is known locally as the "Bags and Bags of Garbage" initiative.

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