Wake Forest Road Divider Is No Happy Median
Posted August 17, 2001 9:33 a.m. EDT
WAKE FOREST — A small business in Wake Forest says it is being smothered by a big business and the
state Department of Transportation
Since 1906, people in Wake Forest have come to expect the personal touch from Jones Hardware. However, all is not well at the folksy, small store.
Home Depot is moving in and the DOT says that Highway 98 will need a median because of all the extra traffic. The the median will also close off Jones Hardware's main entrance.
"It's the access point into my business. You're either going to have to turn farther down 98 and come down to the Winn-Dixie parking lot or you're going to have to make a U-turn at the end of the median to get in," says owner Margaret Jones-Stinnet.
The Jones-Stinnet says that the limited access will limit her business. Some customers say they may turn away, anyway.
"I have sympathy for the mom and pop stores and all that. Probably I'll shop at Home Depot, too," says customer Robert Gray.
When Jones Hardware moved from downtown Wake Forest to its current location 11 years ago, its owners had to pay to install a left turn lane into the business. Adding insult to injury, the very turn lane it paid for is being blocked by the median for Home Depot.
"It makes it very hard to realize that Jones Hardware may not be here, may not be able to survive because of something a big company is doing and something the DOT is letting them do," says Jones-Stinnet.
Developers have the right to build and the DOT has rules, but the hardware store says this one is a big loss for the little guy.
Developer Tim Dockery says he is simply playing by the rules. He says he is paying for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of road improvements around U.S. 1 and Highway 98.
The DOT says road safety takes precedence over all other issues.