Local News

New Bypass Changes Traffic In Pittsboro

Posted July 27, 2001

— For years, people heading west on Highway 64 from Raleigh have driven through Pittsboro. But that is not the case anymore, to the delight of some people who were tired of the traffic.

While the 64 bypass lets drivers avoid downtown Pittsboro, the roadway left some businesses out of the loop. Pittsboro is no longer a town for accidental tourists; now, it is a destination. Some people seem to think that is just fine.

Count 75-year-old Baxter Rigsby, a Pittsboro native, among their number.

"When you see any of Department of Transportation officials, you tell them that Baxter Rigsby commends them for what they have done. The bypass has eliminated half the traffic through Pittsboro," said Rigsby.

"I noticed the past few days there's been no traffic on 64, and it's so much nicer. No big trucks, no 18-wheelers. I like it a whole lot better. I hated driving through Pittsboro before," said another resident.

The antiques district is still bustling, but shop owners want to make sure that people know they are there now that traffic no longer passes directly through town.

"We're talking with the highway people about putting up signs to direct people into the antique district. Most of the people who come in come on purpose, and most come to spend the day," said Tom Grubbs, who owns a store in the district.

Ronnie King's convenience store is seeing fewer people come through.

"No matter how good your local business is, you're going to lose some business because the traffic isn't there. We're not giving out nearly as many directions for people who are looking for places like the zoo," King said.

The traffic reduction resulting from the bypass delights people like Rigsby, who calls it "a great improvement," but the money from lost tourists and truckers will be missed.


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