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Laurels: Turn signal should be beneficial

Laurel to the addition of a protected turn lane and turn signal at the Square.

The light and protected turn lane were added last week as part of repaving on Main Street. Motorists can now turn left from South Main Street onto West Innes Street. People can also turn from North Main Street onto East Innes Street. Both turns previously weren’t allowed.

Traffic signs still prevent people from turning left onto Main Street from Innes Street.

Importantly, the traffic signal and turn lane will provide a safe way for people to do something that was already occurring. It will also prevent people from using side streets to get from one road to the other.

The streetscape changes to Main Street will produce more dramatic impacts to downtown, but the light and turn lane should be a net positive. It shouldn’t back up traffic too bad.

Next, traffic engineers should examine whether to add a turn signal at Innes and Lee streets, where people can cause waits while traffic to clears in the other direction. Changing one of the two lanes into a turn lane probably won’t work because of the volume of traffic. Simply installing a traffic signal with four lights, including a green and a green arrow should be helpful.

Laurel to the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education for extending its mask mandate through Oct. 25.

While the extension partially was prompted by a new requirement to revisit mask mandates on a monthly basis, it prioritizes student health in a time when COVID-19 remains concerning.

While cases are declining, the percent of tests returning positive remains over 10%, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers high community spread.

If the prevalence of COVID-19 ever dips back to where there are just a few cases per day, it could be OK to return to masks optional.

Laurel to some progress in the case of A’yanna Allen’s murder.

Last week, Salisbury Police said publicly officers identified the gun used in her murder and had it in their possession. The gun, a semi-automatic rifle made by a Chinese company was seized by Rowan Sheriff’s deputies in a drug case by a man who said he got it in a trade for narcotics.

Hopefully, the development will lead people to speak up about the 7-year-old’s death in December 2016.

Her death was a tragedy for the entire city. She was shot many times as she slept in a room she shared with her grandmother.

It’s tragic too that her murder has remained unsolved for years. People with information about Allen’s murder can call Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or call Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. Tips may be submitted anonymously online at tips.salisburyrowancrimestoppers.org.

Laurel to Kannapolis for approving a “social district” in its downtown area. The change will allow people who buy alcoholic drinks from a licensed establishment and stand or walk in an area centered around West Avenue.

Drinks must be consumed in the social district’s boundaries and be in specially labeled cups.

So, no walking around Laureate Way or the N.C. Research Campus.

Kannapolis has created vitality in its downtown through Atrium Health Ballpark and its revitalization project, and the social district change will be an additional quality of life enhancement.

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