The town of Chapel Hill should have been more stringent with the Greenbridge development project regarding recent traffic violations.
The developer violated at least five traffic laws within the last few months. These violations included construction vehicles traveling the wrong directions on one-way roads, lacking proper traffic controls and illegally closing Rosemary Street.
The town issued a warning Feb 16 to Greenbridge about the breaches.
In the letter, the town promised to issue criminal citations for any further violations. An order to stop work would be issued after five citations.
Since the letter was issued, the developer has not broken any traffic laws.
However, the town was too slow in responding to citizens’ complaints about Greenbridge’s actions.
Town officials should have started issuing citations from the onset and not waited until multiple ordinances had already been broken, especially since town staff had repeatedly asked the developer to correct some of these problems.
Until the threat of criminal citations, the developer did not make any significant effort to implement any reforms.
These traffic violations could have put both drivers and pedestrians at serious risk of accidents.
It’s understandable that the town did not want to impede the ongoing Greenbridge construction unnecessarily. However, when safety protocols are breached, the town needs to be more proactive in its approach.
The policy seems too lenient. After all, Greenbridge’s developer is being given five additional opportunities — even after it has already ignored many chances to remedy the situation.
If the town of Chapel Hill wants future developers to respect the law and the concerns of its citizens, then it needs to make sure that there is more accountability.
There needs to be better communication between the town and developers. When laws are broken that endanger public safety, then immediate action needs to be taken.
Letting developers off the hook repeatedly will only make it more likely for there to be further violations in the future.
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