Southern Shores removes traffic barricades for holiday

By on July 1, 2022

Town acknowledges some traffic mitigation efforts have failed

(Town of Southern Shores)

The Town of Southern Shores has announced it will be removing all traffic barricades for the big July 4 holiday weekend. That decision comes amid the town’s acknowledgement that this season’s efforts at traffic mitigation have not produced the desired results.

Here is the announcement.

When addressing traffic issues in one part of our community, the Town did not intend to create new or worse problems in other parts of town. In some cases, efforts to ease cut-through traffic have created conditions worse than those addressed.

The blocking of Hickory Trail at East Dogwood is an example of the effect being worse than the cause. Traffic being backed up to the cemetery on South Dogwood is not an outcome we can allow. Once East Dogwood Trail and Hickory Trail were opened for traffic, we still experienced lengthy backups on South Dogwood. The barricades at several intersections that are intended to discourage non-local traffic from cutting through contributed to the back-ups. We are experiencing different results from these barricades this year than last.

With this weekend’s traffic expected to be the peak of the summer, we have determined that it is best to remove barricades on all Town streets. This will provide as many outlets as possible and expedite traffic through Southern Shores.

Town of Southern Shores | No Cut-Thru
We will continue to alert visitors that they will experience less congestion if they remain on US 158 and NC 12. See the latest message here.





  • M.

    The Leaders of this Community, all of Dare and Currituck, have failed in so many ways over the years by continuing to count on the bridge to solve our problems! Duck is the biggest problem, they should do something with the crosswalks, lights, limiting the number of them, etc. Not only is traffic an issue on the weekend, now Duck’s crosswalks are causing issues all week, why won’t someone do something??? The Leaders of this community are creating an unsafe environment and will end up paying at some point! The “no left turn” option did seem to help a bit, why not continue to do that? Oh, because you thought the illegal no left turns were unsafe, but letting all the neighborhoods in SS back up so emergency vehicles can’t get through is fine, that’s not unsafe? I guess if you have a heart attack or your house is on fire, the extra 20 minutes to reach you will be no big deal!

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 8:26 am
  • Patricia Merski

    Know why it didn’t work? first, the barriers were a joke..didn’t even cover the road to actually block it and why weren’t police at those affected sites…Sea Oats, Hillcrest at the beginning of thoses roads to turn the cars around.

    Can’t even guess what those so-called barriers cost to the TAXPAYERS of Southern Shores.

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 8:47 am
  • Bill

    One more time. The roads in Southern Shores are not Public. They are Private. The Residents pay to have them maintained.

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 9:56 am
  • Beach Ball

    When the new Currituck Sound Bridge is built, the backup will be on Highway 12 for miles, on a two lane road, from Corolla to Kitty Hawk. How about a Los Angeles style freeway with flyway exits from Coinjock to Hatteras?( No, stop I’m just kidding!)

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 10:14 am
  • Dan

    The problem can be solved. Put up gates. Put up speed bumps. Lower the speed limit like Nags Head did. Raise the fines for speeding on residential streets like chesapeake just did. The town is happy to spend millions on beach nourishment which only last a year at best but won’t do anything to stop the cut through dangerous traffic conditions in the town.

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 10:47 am
  • WindyBill

    Bill, you are totally wrong. Taxpayers paying for roads does not make them private. I’ll bet we Can agree on on one thing: A long lane on 158 designated “Kitty Hawk and South Only” would alleviate a good deal of backup and beefit Dare County without waiting the years before NCDOT proceeds with the northern bridge.

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 12:55 pm
  • Dethrol

    No matter what anyone SAYS, roads in Southern Shores are absolutely NOT private. They were originally funded by revenue generated by the town of Southern Shores (taxes and fees). Maintenance and engineering (including renovation) for roads in Southern Shores are funded through the North Carolina Powell Bill Program. The taxpayers of North Carolina fund the Powell Bill Program through State taxes.

    See this: State Street-Aid (Powell Bill) Program. Powell Bill allocations are made to incorporated municipalities which establish their eligibility and qualify per North Carolina General Statute 136-41.1 through 136-41.4.

    In 2021, Southern Shores received $134,131.38 in Powell Bill funds. Since 2006, Southern Shores has received payments averaging a little over $115,000 per year (every year) and in total has received (and spent on roads) $1,849,815.43.

    These roads are, in fact, public roads. Closing roads to turn Southern Shores into an enclave doesn’t work any more than putting up barricades on the bridge to stop taxpaying homeowners from accessing their property… and we all know how well this worked out for the outhouse lawyers who advocated and implemented it.

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 1:01 pm
  • Lisa

    The issue falls largely with the crosswalks in Duck-it is something they something they can do something about, and choose not to. The other part is houses have been built in Currituck to house 30-50 people-so close together and lots of them. A two lane road was never meant to handle that kind of traffic. No one cares with the govt because everyone is making money. It is similiar to reopening after a hurricane. It always seems Currituck opens first-but Dare is still closed. By the rules I see Currituck can’t pass through Dare yet. It would take very little for the County Commissioners of both counties to find a reasonable way to handle this. Yes, Dare needs to open first. It helps traffic not to bring th em all in on the sam day-but you do all Summer.

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 7:10 pm
  • Stuck in traffic

    Duck doesn’t even try on the weekends. They do in for hurricane evacuation, use the dang turning lane for straight through traffic. Southbound in the morning and north in the afternoon. With cops helping, on both ends, that’s you SS!
    You’re not going to build a bridge in my backyard, so out of state workers can take my work, without trying some different things!

    Friday, Jul 1 @ 9:56 pm
  • H

    GPS is sending all of the tourists through the residential streets in Southern Shores. It will keep happening unless streets are blocked to through traffic and there are people out there to direct the traffic. I agree that 12 is not equipped to handle the volume of tourism that we are getting. Even the tourists are complaining that we are too crowded now (but the just keep coming).

    Saturday, Jul 2 @ 1:37 am
  • Everyonelivesintheirownlittleworld

    A little reality here….we live in a beautiful part of the country where people save all year long to visit and enjoy, has it grown immensely, will it continue to grow and will traffic be a problem for everyone? YES!!!! Traffic everywhere is a problem and I do feel for those living in areas where drivers feel it is ok to pass through residential areas.
    One thing that I know for sure is that traffic is crazy in most areas of the country where people want to live or vacation and I am sure the OBX is not alone trying to figure out what to do, but you can either stay angry, complain, or just accept that the Outer Banks may not be perfect after all!!

    Saturday, Jul 2 @ 7:36 am
  • DUCKing Responsibilities

    I totally agree that the Duck crosswalks are the main choke points in the traffic to Corolla debacle; their head-in-the-sand Town Council is responsible to create a solution and it will require some
    actual humans to direct traffic and only allow pedestrians to cross
    in larger groups at certain locations, not the drip and drab trickle flow of families here and there at every single crosswalk.
    Cities all across the world use planned management that contains pedestrians at locations while traffic flows by, then stops traffic while the herd of pedestrians crosses, then opens the road for traffic flow. Nothing new, not rocket science, but Duck officials
    need to get on the stick and implement some plans. Pedestrian safety is certainly important but those of us who drive through that town during summer know exactly why it backs up more frequently-
    lots of cars, sure; but stopping for the pedestrians so frequently
    certainly gums things up. It’s worth a try, that bridge won’t be in place til 2028, if then.

    Saturday, Jul 2 @ 8:20 am
  • Disgruntled

    If the barricades are causing back ups and you wish to expedite the traffic through Southern Shores, direct all the traffic coming out of SS. to take a right turn at Duck rd., residence with pass excluded. Over time maybe google will catch on.
    It would seem N. bound traffic flow on Duck rd. could benefit also.

    Saturday, Jul 2 @ 6:26 pm
  • jim

    “Traffic being backed up to the cemetery on South Dogwood is not an outcome we can allow.”
    The traffic at north end of Sea Oats is at a standstill from 8 am till 8 pm. This has been the case for every weekend day during the summer for years. Is this an outcome that we can allow ??The barricades helped reduce the cut through traffic, in spite of the police vehicles sitting at intersections with officers doing absolutely nothing. Now the more vocal residents living along south dogwood can’t cope with a few cars backed up in their part of the neighborhood. Since the police either don’t want to help, or haven’t been directed to help; why not reach out to the citizens and post a few volunteers at some of the intersections, with barricades, to control the traffic.

    Saturday, Jul 2 @ 8:49 pm
  • Scratching my head

    jim, in these times, you propose that the vocal and agitated local citizens and volunteers assemble at intersections direct traffic? IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2022. Why would travelers choose to listen
    to them?: “Uh, OK, sure Mrs. Etheridge, our family will turn the SUV around and get back on Duck Road. Thanks for the advice.”

    What happens when someone in gun-happy America pulls out a weapon and….

    Sunday, Jul 3 @ 8:13 am