Pointing in the right direction

Published 7:33 pm Monday, April 27, 2015

Many residents of Beaufort County have experienced that moment when out driving around, looking for a specific address and not finding it because the street sign has been removed, knocked down or blown away. It can be frustrating, to say the least.
During the public comment period at last month’s Beaufort County Board of Commissioners meeting on April 6, a gentleman addressed commissioners about this specific subject.

“I’m here to talk about my street signs,” he said.

According to this man, a resident of Sherwood Forest, his street sign, that of Nottingham Road in Washington, had been missing for two years. It’s hard to imagine that a street sign could be down for two years without people outside of the residents of that road noticing. In the Nottingham Road case, someone backed over it and knocked it over. An enterprising soul did attempt to rig it back up by tying it to the stop sign there, but even then, the sign was too far back from the road for motorists to see it at night or in inclement weather.

Over the past two years, certainly anyone unfamiliar to the area, yet looking for an address on Nottingham Road might have experienced some frustration getting there.

But it’s not just frustration and wasted time driving around in circles that is the issue when it comes to unmarked roads. There’s a reason those roads are marked, outside of just to ensure mail is delivered to the correct address. In the case of emergency, first responders need to know where they’re going. They need to have roads clearly demarcated and house numbers clearly visible. While many of Beaufort County’s first responders are native to the region and have driven every road in the county, that doesn’t mean he or she can automatically draw up a map-like visual of where that particular road may be. They need street signs to help show them the way.

Often in emergency situations, every second counts. It would be a tragedy if, because of a missing road sign, seconds became minutes — minutes that could mean the difference between life and death.

Let’s get the signs up and pointing in the right direction.